Only 57% of ScotRail trains on time in 2013

Just 57.1 per cent of ScotRail trains arrived on time last year, figures show. Picture: Contributed
Just 57.1 per cent of ScotRail trains arrived on time last year, figures show. Picture: Contributed
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BAD weather contributed to a further slide in ScotRail punctuality last year, when just 57.1 per cent of trains arrived on time, figures showed today.

The proportion of services reaching their destination within one minute of schedule in the year to last Saturday was nearly 1 per cent lower than the rolling annual rate last September, and almost 3 per less than last April.

The performance was also fifth worst among 19 train operating companies across Britain, although 60 per cent of delays were the responsibility of track firm Network Rail.

By contrast, the figure for Arriva Trains Wales, the country’s main operator, was 85 per cent.

Bottom of the league was cross-Border operator CrossCountry, which runs the longest journeys, with 43.8 per cent “right time” arrivals - down 1 per cent since last September.

Next worst was west coast main line operator Virgin Trains, up by 1.5 per cent to 48.9 per cent, followed by East Coast, down 3 per cent to 52.8 per cent.

Network Rail, which published the figures, said the railway had dealt with “multiple and sustained extreme weather conditions” over the last month.

A ScotRail spokesman said: “Extreme weather has impacted upon rail journeys across the UK in the last 12 months, yet ScotRail’s long-term punctuality and performance scores remain strong - with nearly nine out of ten of our trains arriving within five minutes of planned arrival times.

“More than half of delays in the last 12 months were caused by infrastructure issues, often due to severe weather, but we are working closely with Network Rail on measures to bring performance back up to previous record-breaking levels.

“We are encouraged by a marked uplift in recent performance following major timetable improvements in early December.”

Watchdog group Passenger Focus said the way disruption was handled had remained generally poor.

Acting chief executive David Sidebottom said: “The weather has caused significant disruption to train passengers recently so we aren’t surprised to see there has been a drop in performance.

“The key thing during periods of poor performance, whatever the reason, is to keep passengers informed.

“Although we have seen some great examples where the industry kept passengers properly informed through a variety of media, there were also still too many examples of conflicting and, on occasion, inaccurate information that will have simply confused travellers.