Borders Railway: Scotrail defends 'completely unacceptable' train services between Tweedbank and Edinburgh
More than half of trains on route through Midlothian were delayed last year
An MSP has raised concerns about “completely unacceptable” train delays between Edinburgh and Midlothian on the Borders Railway.
This follows the publication of a performance update by Scotrail earlier this month, which revealed that 51.4 per cent of trains travelling on the line which was opened in 2015 were delayed last year, which includes trains travelling between Edinburgh and Tweedbank via Gorebridge, Newtongrange and Eskbank.
However, Scotrail points out these are ‘on-time’ performance figures, rather than the industry standard public performance measure (PPM) on which ScotRail is held to account by Transport Scotland. PPM is the percentage of all ScotRail passenger services that arrived at their destination within four minutes and 59 seconds of their timetabled arrival time having called at all scheduled stops on route.
Conservative List MSP Craig Hoy said: “It is completely unacceptable that a majority of Scotrail services between Tweedbank and Edinburgh were delayed last year. For regular rail users in Midlothian, it must be frustrating to show up to the station each day only to find out that their train has been delayed.
"If we want regular travellers and commuters to ditch their cars in an attempt to reach net zero, the Scottish Government must work harder to create a reliable railway service that makes trains a better alternative."
Mr Hoy also submitted a Written Question to Scotland’s Transport Minister, asking: “To ask the Scottish Government what provisions it has put in place to address train delays between Tweedbank and Edinburgh?”
The PPM figure for Tweedbank for the most recent four-week reporting period of December 11 to January 7 was 87.0 per cent. This means that almost nine out of 10 trains arriving at Tweedbank station met their performance target.
Phil Campbell, ScotRail head of customer operations, said: “Everyone across Scotland’s railway works tirelessly to deliver a safe, reliable, and robust service for our customers. In the most recent reporting period, almost nine out of 10 trains arriving at Tweedbank station met their performance target, however, we understand and share the frustration of our customers when things do not go to plan, so we’ll continue to work flat out to deliver the service they expect and deserve.”
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “Ministers expect ScotRail and Network Rail to drive high performing, resilient passenger services across Scotland’s Railway, including in the Borders. It should be noted that almost 9 out of 10 services in the Borders meet the industry target, which is arrival within five minutes of the advertised time.”