Rail chiefs defend pay rise for ScotRail boss amid performance criticism

Alex Hynes, Managing Director, Scotrail Alliance. Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament
Alex Hynes, Managing Director, Scotrail Alliance. Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament
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Rail chiefs have defended a 2 per cent pay increase for the head of the ScotRail Alliance with Network Rail despite its poor performance.

Managing director Alex Hynes’s salary increased by £5,000 from £255,000 to £260,000, it has emerged.

However, Network Rail, which employs Mr Hynes, said his increase was in line with everyone else at the UK Government body.

This year, ScotRail’s punctuality has fallen to its worst for 12 years, although the latest figures showed an improvement for the first time for three months.

Scottish ministers have said 60 per cent of the delays have been caused by Network Rail faults, such as to track and signalling.

Network Rail said media reports of a “bumper pay rise” were untrue because the Cabinet Office had miscoded Mr Hynes pay band.

A spokesman said: “Alex got a 2 per cent pay rise- in line with everyone else at NR - and his salary is now £260k, up from £255k.”

But Manuel Cortes, leader of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, said: “Alex was the highest paid public servant in Scotland when he started and he’s now presiding over the biggest failure in public service in Scotland.

“He should waive future pay increases until ScotRail performs better, to show passengers he’s on their side.”