MSP stunned by satisfaction rating
An MSP has revealed he is shocked by a survey which reveals eight in 10 passengers in Scotland are satisfied with ScotRail services.
New figures from watchdog Transport Focus’s latest national rail passenger survey, measuring the satisfaction rates of more than 27,000 passengers, shows an improvement from ScotRail’s autumn 2016 results – with overall satisfaction at 85 per cent.
The results come after a Strathclyde Passenger for Transport (SPT) report showed the number of ‘entries and exits’, as passenger journeys are referred, to and from East Kilbride, Hairmyres and Thorntonhall stations on the Glasgow line are down 200,000 from 2015/16 to 2016/17.
Central Scotland Tory MSP Graham Simpson admits he was taken aback by Transport Focus’s findings.
He said: “I’m surprised with the findings that eight out of 10 passengers in Scotland say they are satisfied overall with ScotRail services. Only last week in the East Kilbride News it was revealed in a survey commissioned by SPT that there was an alarming drop in passengers using East Kilbride stations and turning to other modes of transport in frustration.
“Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus who compiled the ScotRail report, said ‘it’s essential that ScotRail and Network Rail continue their focus on ensuring most trains arrive on time, with few cancellations and with carriages of the right length.’
“All of the above issues impact the people of East Kilbride regularly and need to be addressed.”
Mr Simpson added: “I would be interested to see what the result would be if ScotRail surveyed the long-suffering commuters of East Kilbride.
“I think you may find that the satisfaction figures would be considerably lower.” East Kilbride SNP MSP Linda Fabiani also felt the figures “do not reflect” commuters’ experiences along the East Kilbride to Glasgow route.
She said: “It’s clear when comparing autumn 2017 results to 2016 that ScotRail have some work still to do to improve constituents’ overall experiences.
“I raised the issue of stop-skipping last week in the Scottish Parliament and, despite occurrences being low, the transport minister [Humza Yousaf] did admit performance wasn’t as it should have been in the autumn and winter.
“I received assurances, too, that the East Kilbride line will specifically benefit from more carriages when the new trains and r o l l i n g stock become available.”
Transport Focus’s Mr Smith said: “For passengers, it’s all about performance.
“Transport Focus welcomes the independent review of train services that ScotRail announced earlier this month to further improve performance.”
Survey surprise Central Scotland Tory MSP Graham Simpson
Satisfied? Passengers get ready to board a service at East Kilbride rail station
‘Not reflective’ SNP MSP Linda Fabiani