Scotrail falls short on punctuality

ScotRail train at Tweedbank station, the end of the line for the Borders Railway line
ScotRail train at Tweedbank station, the end of the line for the Borders Railway line

Scotrail says it is continuing its efforts to improve on its service to customers after its own figures showed a very poor percentage of on-time trains coming into Tweedbank in June.

In the four-weeks to June 25, only 42.2% of trains made it on time, while the Scotrail target is 64.8%.

Scotrail uses two measurements to detect late trains. The “on-time” measurement defaults if a train is more than 59 seconds late, while the “public performance” measurement kicks in when a train is more than five minutes late, or is cancelled.

In this latter category – the industry standard measurement, the stats do make better reading, with 86.1% of trains into Tweedbank complying, with the target being 93%.

The train company says that for the four weeks in question, it experienced two points failures, plus one instance where a train had to be removed from service due to a fault with one of the doors.

On another occasion, a train was cancelled due to a driver being unavailable at short notice due to illness.

These four incidents generated the most delays in that period.

A ScotRail spokesman said: “We believe customers should have access to on-time stats as well as the industry standard figures, so we publish both on our website and at stations.

“We do our utmost to keep passengers moving and only cancel trains when we have exhausted every alternative.

“On this occasion, we did not meet our targets, but will continue our efforts to improve.”

Rachael Hamilton, South of Scotland MSP said: “Clearly, a journey as important as this needs to run on time and provide a consistent and reliable service.

“Unfortunately the only thing that customers know is that it is more likely they will arrive late than on time.

“Action needs to be taken to get this journey to meet the 93% target before customers stop using it.”

It has been a tough couple of months for the service – as members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union fought plans to have drivers instead of guards operate the doors, and went on strike on named days, which severely condensed the timetable.

However, further action has been suspended as union leaders have restarted talks with Scotrail bosses.