Stats show mis­ery goes on for com­muters

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Tra i n com­muters in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang are con­tin­u­ing to face de­lays with some lines see­ing just a quar­ter of jour­neys ar­riv­ing at their des­ti­na­tion on time.

Fig­ures for ser­vices between Au­gust 21 and Septem­ber 17 show only 45.3 per cent of trains head­ing for New­ton ar­rived at the fi­nal stop on time.

This will have af­fected all pas­sen­gers trav­el­ling through King’s Park, Croft­foot, Burn­side and Kirkhill.

On the Ar­gyle Line ser­vice through Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang, trains set for Dal­muir ar­rived at the end of the line within a minute of their sched­uled time just 28.1 per cent of the time, while those des­tined for Mil­ngavie made it on time just 25 per cent of the time.

Sco­trail say the pub­lic per­for­mance mea­sure for these lines shows a dif­fer­ent story, with 94.7 per cent of New­ton trains ar­riv­ing at the sta­tion within five min­utes of their sched­uled time.

How­ever, Dal­muir and Mil­ngavie are be­low the na­tional av­er­age of 90.7 per cent, with only 88.6 per cent and 78.3 per cent of trains man­ag­ing to ar­rive within five min­utes.

In the other di­rec­tion, Mother­well ser­vices ar­rived on time 48.7 per cent of the time and Larkhall ser­vices 46.3 per cent of the time.

Other des­ti­na­tions that can be reached through Ruther­glen or Cam­bus­lang in­clude Cum­ber­nauld (41.8 per cent), Carstairs (50.2 per cent), La­nark ( 46.8 per cent) and Whif­flet (60.2 per cent).

Glas­gow MSP James Kelly (be­low) re­leased the fig­ures this week and said they were proof it was time for a “pub­licly owned peo­ple’s Sco­tRail.”

He added: “The fact that only 45 per cent of trains ter­mi­nat­ing at New­ton are ar­riv­ing on time is un­ac­cept­able. The SNP Trans­port Min­is­ter needs to get a grip of what is hap­pen­ing on our rail­ways and ex­plain ex­actly what will be done to tackle de­lays and im­prove re­li­a­bil­ity.

“The re­al­ity is that while pas­sen­gers are con­tin­u­ing to pay more for a shock­ing ser­vice, Abel­lio has made £1mil­lion-a-month profit from their fran­chise agree­ment with the SNP Gov­ern­ment.”

Ruther­glen MSP Clare Haughey said she had met with the trans­port min­is­ter and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Abel­lio to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion af­ter be­ing ap­proached by con­stituents.

She added: “The SNP Gov­ern­ment has been clear that the per­for­mance this year has not been as good as we ex­pect. The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment ex­pects Sco­tRail to im­prove — and un­der the con­tract agreed sus­tained poor per­for­mance could, ul­ti­mately, lead to ter­mi­na­tion of the fran­chise.”

“There has been a 30 per cent in­crease in pas­sen­ger traf­fic on Sco­trail ser­vices since 2007. In 2015 a £475m in­vest­ment pro­gramme was launched to im­prove sta­tions and pro­vide an ad­di­tional 180 car­riages to the cur­rent rolling stock.

“Com­muters on sub­ur­ban ser­vices, such as those in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang, will start to see the ben­e­fits from next spring.”

A Sco­tRail spokes­woman said: “We have had a chal­leng­ing few months due to in­dus­trial ac­tion, the big in­fra­struc­ture works at Queen Street and the pro­gramme to elec­trify the line between Glas­gow and Ed­in­burgh.

“This has un­doubt­edly con­trib­uted to the fact that we are slightly be­hind our de­mand­ing tar­get for per­for­mance. We have agreed an ac­tion plan with Trans­port Scot­land about how we pull this back up to the level we would ex­pect.”

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