The impact of increasing passenger disruption from rail network faults is alarming industry chiefs as figures show ScotRail’s punctuality has got worse for nearly a year.
The train operator has suffered its worst June punctuality since 2006.
And figures have revealed just 83.5 per cent of trains between May 27 and June 23 arrived at Edinburgh Waverley station within five minutes of schedule, compared to 92.6 per cent at Glasgow Central. Major incidents included two overhead power line problems at Glasgow Central and Airdrie that each delayed one in ten of ScotRail’s trains.
The next figures could be even worse because they cover record temperatures in the last week of June, which caused massive rail disruption across the Central Belt.
The previous faults contributed to ScotRail’s punctuality over the past year falling or remaining static for the tenth consecutive month.
It dipped to 89.1 per cent of trains arriving at their destinations within five minutes of schedule – the official measure – in the year to June 23.
That was 0.2 per cent lower than in the year to May, the latest of nine falls since it reached 91.2 per cent in August last year. However, the latest monthly performance was worse, with 88.7 per cent punctuality between May 27 and June 23.
That compares to 92 per cent in the same period last year and 90 per cent in June 2016.
Senior ScotRail officials are concerned at the level of disruption, which is the responsibility of their alliance partners Network Rail.
Last month, 72 per cent of ScotRail delays were caused by Network Rail compared to 58 per cent over the past year.
Angry passengers have tweeted their frustration. Samantha, a finance industry manager, wrote: “Not had a day yet since I started commuting with @ScotRail where they haven’t ruined my commute. Signalling issue after signalling issue.”
Matthew Verran from Dunfermline tweeted: “@ScotRail @networkrail seriously get your s*** together with the signalling problems in Edinburgh, it’s DAILY.”
The deteriorating performance comes despite two improvement plans.
The latest, by ex-industry chief Nick Donovan, led to trains no longer missing station stops to reduce knock-on disruption. Scottish Conservatives transport spokesman Jamie Greene said new transport secretary Michael Matheson “must get to grips with the chaos engulfing Scotland’s railways”, which cost taxpayers nearly £800 million a year to run.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency said: “We expect ScotRail to make positive steps by building on the recommendations in the independent Donovan review.”
A ScotRail Alliance spokesman said: “June’s high temperatures caused some significant challenges and our infrastructure engineers are reviewing how we can make our railway even more reliable for our passengers.”