ScotRail delusions

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Is it more than coincidental that First ScotRail managing director Steve Montgomery tells us how wonderful his First ScotRail system is in the run-up to the franchise renewal? (Platform, 1 July).

In a paean of self-praise, Mr Montgomery informs us that “ScotRail has made a start” to tackling the complexities of Scotland’s arcane and labyrinthine rail ticketing system.

Only a start?

First ScotRail has held the franchise for a decade, and in that time, the only “start” made was in May this year when a tidying-up of some split ticking occurred – a move affecting exactly 250,000 of the annual 32 million passengers carried by First ScotRail.

In the same decade, Mr Montgomery has flatly refused to entertain any opportunity to inform Transport Scotland or the Scottish Parliament just how abysmally inadequate for long-distance work are the trains he operates.

The picture of sweetness and light painted by Mr Montgomery in his 11 paragraphs is far removed from the daily actuality of rail travel in 21st-century Scotland.

As boss of First ScotRail, Mr Montgomery ought to know.

Gordon Casely