Almost half of city trains arriving late

ScotRail trains, Edinburgh Waverley Station. Picture; Jane Barlow
ScotRail trains, Edinburgh Waverley Station. Picture; Jane Barlow
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NEARLY half of all trains into Edinburgh Waverley are arriving late, according to new figures.

Only 53.8 per cent of trains arrived within a minute of their booked time at Edinburgh Waverley between October 16 and November 12 – with a similar pattern in Glasgow.

The news comes as transport minister Humza Yousaf revealed he is working on a “viable” public sector bid to run the railways, amid continuing criticism of the current ScotRail operator Abellio.

Mr Yousaf said the transport company’s performance had not been good enough as he urged unions and opposition parties to work with him to produce a public sector alternative.

He spoke out as performance data from ScotRail showed just 86 per cent of trains arrived at their destination on time or were less than five minutes late – although the most up-to-date annual figures put this at 89.8 per cent.

The decrease in punctuality was revealed at the same time it was reported that Abellio ScotRail managing director Phil Verster’s basic annual wage had risen to £265,000 a year.

ScotRail was forced to produce a performance improvement plan in September, at the request of Transport Scotland, after punctuality and reliability fell below standard.

Meanwhile, a train breakdown in Edinburgh on Thursday morning caused widespread disruption for commuters.

Mr Yousaf told the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland: “I am on top of the job. I am listening to what passengers have to say. I am monitoring ScotRail’s performance and I have demanded improvement.

“And if there’s not improvement I’ll be very clear, as I have been previously, that there are some very serious consequences for ScotRail, for Abellio, if they do not improve their performance.”

He said the contract with Abellio has a clause in it allowing it to be broken in 2020, and added: “My position is we are going to put together a public sector bid.”

A ScotRail Alliance spokeswoman said Scotland’s railway – currently undergoing widespread upgrades – was among the most punctual in the UK, adding: “All 7500 people who work for the ScotRail Alliance are focused on one goal – improving performance and delivering the best possible service.”