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Rumbles says government should be looking at alternative rail operators

May 21, 2019 6:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat Transport spokesperson Mike Rumbles today pressed the Transport Secretary on the huge increase in rail compensation claims, after it was revealed that ScotRail has seen a 72.8% increase in the amount of compensation being paid to customers, topping £1,119,818 for 2018/19.

Mike Rumbles stressed that despite three improvement plans in two years ScotRail is still failing to meet national targets on performance and customer service.

Mr Rumbles also drew attention to a report by the consumer watchdog Which? that describes the ScotRail compensation system as "fragmented and confusing", requiring customers to provide up to 24 separate pieces of information before making a claim. The description contradicts the Cabinet Secretary's own view that the Delay Repay Scheme is 'straightforward'.

Mr Rumbles said:

"Both the First Minister and the Transport Secretary have admitted that ScotRail's performance is not good enough. Now we need to see them making meaningful changes that will deliver a rail network fit for the 21st century.

"The huge increase in compensation paid to customers is only the tip of the iceberg. Continued cancellations and delays are having an impact on thousands of passengers and our national economy.

"Rail passengers just want a reliable service that gets them from A to B without having to cram on to overcrowded trains. It has become increasingly clear that it will not be delivered under the current franchise agreement.

"It is time the Scottish Government started looking at alternative operators."