MP blasts government after ScotRail fined £2m for failures

ScotRail has come under fire for its services in Fife. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
ScotRail has come under fire for its services in Fife. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Lesley Laird has attacked the Scottish Government after ScotRail was fined £2m for letting passengers down.

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Lesley Laird has attacked the Scottish Government after ScotRail was fined £2m for letting passengers down.

She says the Scottish Government is continuing to prop up ScotRail’s failing franchise – despite continued misery for passengers.

The ScotRail franchise, operated by private company Abellio, is fined by Transport Scotland when it breaches a series of performance measures.

Between January to June this year, those fines reached a whopping £2,241,837.

According to the latest data (April-June) ScotRail passed just 15 out of 38 targets set for it, falling short for unclean trains, toilets and stations.

Despite this, ministers upped their payment to ScotRail by 22.3 per cent to £307 million – the biggest franchise payment in the entire UK.

Ms Laird said: “I know I join hundreds of train users here in Fife in thinking this shambles simply beggars belief.

“These benchmarks were set for a reason, namely to protect paying passengers by ensuring they could rely on decent service.

“Instead, for years now, weary commuters have endured late, overcrowded and, especially here in Fife, overpriced trains.”

She added: “The Scottish Government needs to draw a line under this debacle by using its power to end this franchise early and bring rail services into public ownership by 2022.”

“I would urge the Transport Secretary to use the upcoming franchise break and deliver a railway service for Scotland which puts passengers – not profits – first.”