Scotrail are set to default on their rail franchise after a remedial plan on Customer satisfaction suggests that they will fail to hit their target for the second year running. The train operator was issued with a Remedial Plan notice after Passenger Satisfaction plummeted last year to its lowest level since 2002.
The Plan – which came before the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee – predicts that passenger satisfaction for this year will be just 84%, well below target.
The franchise agreement between Abellio and Transport Scotland states that missing this target for two years running is an ‘Event of Default’, and is grounds to be stripped of the franchise.
The Plan also confirms that Transport Scotland have again lowered the franchise target, moving it from 88.5% to 87.5%. Transport Scotland have previously lowered the target for 2016/17 and 2017/18 to avoid a breach occurring. Abellio has not hit the original franchise target of 88.5% since the first year of the franchise, and according to the Remedial Plan they won’t hit that target for at least another two years.
“It is no surprise that Scotrail has yet again failed to meet their Passenger Satisfaction target. My own constituents have suffered a year of constant train delays, cancellations, short-formed and over-crowded trains – all while being expected to pay more and more for the pleasure.
“Customers are clearly sick and tired of Abellio’s shambolic performance, but instead of standing up for passengers and ending the franchise, the SNP government is doing everything it can to protect Abellio.
“The solutions set out in the Remedial Plan are far too little, too late.
“It’s time that the Scottish Government ended this franchise and put passengers first.”