Key ScotRail performance measure falls for fifth month

ScotRail has again failed to hit a key performance target, with the punctuality measure falling for the fifth month in a row.

ScotRail's punctuality remains below even the lower target agreed when performance fell more than a year ago. Picture: Ian Georgeson
ScotRail's punctuality remains below even the lower target agreed when performance fell more than a year ago. Picture: Ian Georgeson

A total of 90.1 per cent of its trains arrived on time in the year to last Saturday, figures published today showed.

It is 1.6 percentage points below the company's contractual target with the Scottish Government.

That is also nearly 1 point below a lower target that was agreed as part of a performance improvement plan - which has been in force since autumn 2016.

The figure represents the equivalent of an extra 18 of ScotRail's 2,500 daily trains arriving late.

Known as the "moving annual average", which ScotRail is principally judged on, the figure compares to 90.4 per cent in the year to December, and 90.8 per cent in the year to November.

The figure has fallen every month since August, when it was 91.2 per cent.

Punctuality in the four weeks to last Saturday - or the proportion of trains arriving within five minutes of schedule - was 88.8 per cent.

That was 5.4 points better than December, but nearly 3 points worse than last January, which is the standard industry comparison.

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The figures come as ministers await the results of a performance review by former TransPennine Express chief Nick Donovan, which are due this month.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “It has already been well documented ScotRail’s performance is not where the Scottish Government expects or where passengers demand.

"The ongoing independent Donovan review will look closely at performance, including skip-stopping.

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"Once the findings of this are known, the transport minister [Humza Yousaf] will take the opportunity to look at the recommended steps for improvement and how this information is made publicly available.”

The ScotRail Alliance, which includes track owner Network Rail, said its performance last month was above the British average of 88.4 per cent, and of 88.5 per cent over the past year.

A spokesperson said: “Despite the recent snow and icy conditions, the ScotRail Alliance kept people moving thanks to the hard work of our people across the country.

"It’s encouraging that our performance improved in recent weeks, and that we remain the best performing large operator in the UK.

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“But we aren’t complacent, and know our customers expect the highest standards.

"That’s why we are reviewing our performance, so that we can deliver even more for our customers."

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Up to 20 ScotRail trains a day skip their scheduled stops