Worsening ScotRail performance triggers Transport Scotland intervention
Worsening ScotRail performance over recent months has prompted Transport Scotland to demand an improvement plan to address current shortcomings.
ScotRail’s PPM (passenger performance measure) – the industry yardstick for assessing punctuality and reliability – has now fallen below the 90.3% threshold for five consecutive periods. The MAA (moving annual average) for period 7 (the most recent four-week period) was 0.7% points below at 89.6%.
The PPM MMA in period 2 reached the required 90.3% threshold, but thereafter fell continuously: period 3 (90.1%); period 4 (90.0%); period 5 (89.7%), and period 6 (89.6%), where it has now stabilised (see table below).
Failure to meet the 90.3% threshold prompted the Transport Scotland intervention.
The TS target is to have 91.3% of trains arriving on time (or less than five minutes late).
Dutch state railway-owned Abellio ScotRail has responded by producing a three-point improvement plan. An additional £16m is to be made available – from Network Rail – for infrastructure improvements over two years. This will be done under the recently-formed ScotRail Alliance (between Network Rail and ScotRail).
However, a ScotRail spokesman declined to provide financial details to 21CR on commercial confidentiality grounds about the planned rolling stock and operations improvements, which form the other two parts of the three part scheme (and which ScotRail will fund).
ScotRail cited the closure of Glasgow Queen Street, the July closure of Winchburgh Tunnel (on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line), and damage to Lamington Viaduct (on the WCML) as contributory factors for its disappointing performance.
Dissatisfaction with ScotRail services has resulted in a 19,000 petition to Scottish Transport Secretary, Humza Yousaf, to strip Abellio of its franchise.