Call to outlaw ScotRail ‘stop skipping’ amid anger in Fife

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Politicians have criticised ScotRail over ‘stop skipping’ in Fife, with calls to outlaw the practice.

It comes after Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said that ScotRail’s performance had been disappointing.

The practice of stop skipping means that many stations are missed out on the busy Fife commuter service, meaning passengers are late for work while the train passes them on the platform.

Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Mark Ruskell has said the rules for the ScotRail contract need to be updated as soon as possible to prevent trains routinely missing stops on the Fife Circle.

He said: “Last year I lodged a number of questions on this subject with the transport minister Humza Yousaf, who revealed that currently there is no way to fine ScotRail when they miss out stations from a scheduled route.

“Stop skipping is treated as a ‘part cancellation’, but there’s a big difference between a train being cancelled for technical or safety reasons, and commuters being left on a platform in Aberdour or Burntisland whilst trains speed past.

“The Scottish Greens will be calling for stop skipping to be addressed as a specific issue, outlawing this unfair practice that regularly sees commuters stranded in Fife or Edinburgh.”

Mr Yousaf said: “Given that 54% of performance issues are infrastructure-related there is a clear need for the greater devolution and better governance arrangements for Network Rail in Scotland which we have called for so many times.

“It should be acknowledged the existing Performance Improvement Plan had been working well but the dip in performance since autumn must and will be addressed.”

He added: “I am not complacent and fully expect this recent downward trend to be addressed immediately.”