MSP stunned by sat­is­fac­tion rat­ing

East Kilbride News - - FRONT PAGE - Mark Pirie

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

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