Scotrail collects 2nd improvement notice

mcmad

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ScotRail has been ordered to come up with a remedial plan after failing to meeting passenger satisfaction targets.

The order came after the Scottish government said it would be "extremely difficult" for ScotRail to reach its 88.5% satisfaction target this year.

ScotRail is already dealing with another improvement order following a surge in train cancellations.

But the train operator has seen a slight improvement in overall performance in recent months.

ScotRail has faced a string of performance issues over the past year, including cancelling thousands of services because of staff shortages.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said the firm's latest score of 79% in the twice-yearly National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) meant it would be extremely difficult for ScotRail to reach its overall 88.5% average target for 2018/19.

'Poor performance'
He said: "These latest NRPS results are unsurprising and clearly linked to the recent poor performance. Too often passengers have been left disappointed and this must change swiftly.

"Having already issued one remedial plan notice, it is frustrating that another follows. ScotRail recognises the reasons for this notice and the direct link between train service reliability and customer satisfaction.

"I require quick action to ensure the ongoing record investment in infrastructure, fleets and staff quite rightly translates to better satisfaction levels and a more attractive service.

"Passengers want and deserve a railway which delivers the benefits of more seats and services on a consistently reliable basis."

ScotRail now has twelve weeks to submit a plan to improve its customer satisfaction rates.

And it has until 18 February to submit a separate plan to reduce the number of cancellations.

The Scottish government demanded this plan after the central belt of Scotland was hit by a series of cancellations 11 November and 8 December last year.

The problems came ahead of the introduction of a new timetable on 9 December, which promised 100 new services and faster trains.

But a week later ScotRail boss Alex Hynes apologised for further disruption and pledged to make improvements.

ScotRail's head of customer operations Phil Campbell said: "We run more than 2,400 services every single weekday, which is more than ever before, and our punctuality has recently reached its highest level since September last year.

"But we know there is much more to do, given the challenges we have faced in recent months.

"Everyone at Scotland's railway is working flat out to deliver the service our customers expect and deserve.

"We will submit a remedial plan to Transport Scotland within the timescale outlined."
According to the BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-47170985, TS have issued a second improvement notice, this time more generally reflecting the lack of satisfaction of users with the current service.

Am starting to get the impression that (privately) Transport Scotland's patience is starting to be worn thin.
 
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mde

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I think TS are more passenger-driven than the English authorities as I reckon many Northern passengers would kill for ScotRail as it is now.
That's likely true, but, if you read the comments pages on some Scottish newspapers you'd think all hell was breaking loose on a daily basis!

To be honest, I like the logic behind this - both parties know the stats aren't on the right side of the contract, and, it's been acknowledged that it'll be challenging to get them there during the franchise year. Serving the notice now lets it roll into the plans going forward and lets people get on with actually putting things right.
 

Bletchleyite

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That's likely true, but, if you read the comments pages on some Scottish newspapers you'd think all hell was breaking loose on a daily basis!
That's true of most TOCs, though, particularly those with a lot of commuters. The vitriol spewed about LNR (and LM before them), particularly on Twitter, is not even nearly in proportion to the actual issues.
 

LeeLivery

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As would us GTR users. Great to see a TOC held to account.
As a GTR user, I would. Last time I used ScotRail was a year ago to the month. It wasn't loads of milage, but I couldn't complain. Anything goes wrong down here and its "I'm not a rail expert". I'd argue ScotRail is the best argument for devolution, over LO. TS acknowledge the issues, TfL has some serious reliability issues with particular LO services and glosses over it.
 

route:oxford

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That's likely true, but, if you read the comments pages on some Scottish newspapers you'd think all hell was breaking loose on a daily basis!
It is. People can remember the days when you could reliably get to Edinburgh in time for work in the morning, and the train only took 2/3rds of the journey time back in the evening.

When you could board a train and be confident of a working power socket to do some work on the way to and from work.

I can well remember the days of National Express running Scotrail. During a 2 year period, even when temperatures dropped as low as -20C in Glasgow, there was just one day when the train made me late for work and not once did I have to find an alternative way home or book a hotel for the night.

There is a massive misunderstanding south of the Border with Scotrail. It proudly states on every carriage that it is "Scotland's Railway" and "Reile na-h Alba", "Abelio" is in the tiniest of letters tucked away.

People can argue the semantics all they like, but to the ordinary commuter in Scotland

Scotland's Railway = The Scottish Government

No different from the presentation in London, where the roundel = the Mayor. "To Mayor of London & TfL, Every Journey Matters".

People are angry, even more so now that whilst a terrible rail service is being delivered that is forcing people back into their cars, the Scottish Goverment, is introducing legislation that will mean work parking spaces will potentially be taxed at upwards of £400 per year.

*This is important* to rail staff in Scotland too. Many with early starts or late finishes will be making use of staff parking spaces. It means that (If the tax is passed on by employers) those on minimum wage will find the addition of Scottish Parking Tax equal to paying 30% income tax.
 

Carlisle

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As would us GTR users. Great to see a TOC held to account.
How can they realistically be held to account any more than any other U.K. TOC ? given everyone in the industry knows there aren’t a whole host of alternative operators that can simply replace any of them at short notice.
 

Highlandspring

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People are angry, even more so now that whilst a terrible rail service is being delivered that is forcing people back into their cars, the Scottish Goverment, is introducing legislation that will mean work parking spaces will potentially be taxed at upwards of £400 per year.

*This is important* to rail staff in Scotland too. Many with early starts or late finishes will be making use of staff parking spaces. It means that (If the tax is passed on by employers) those on minimum wage will find the addition of Scottish Parking Tax equal to paying 30% income tax.
Although I'm an SNP voter I don't support the parking tax powers. However the budget only gives councils the powers to impose a levy if they want to, it doesn't compel councils to adopt it and many councils have already stated they won't be adopting it. Even where it is adopted it will be up to individual employers whether or not they pass the charge on to their staff.
 

ComUtoR

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As would us GTR users.
Considering this is a thread about being served a SECOND improvement notice, with lowering passenger satisfaction and poor performance. Why would you want a failing TOC to run your service ? Surely you should be calling for a TOC with HIGH passenger satisfaction scores to take over :rolleyes:
 

Carlisle

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Although I'm an SNP voter I don't support the parking tax powers. However the budget only gives councils the powers to impose a levy if they want to, it doesn't compel councils to adopt it and many councils have already stated they won't be adopting it. Even where it is adopted it will be up to individual employers whether or not they pass the charge on to their staff.
Such schemes might theoretically sound ok but in practice just result in those allready higher skilled / paid workers who by default have far more leverage successfully getting their employers to cover the costs whilst workers at the lower end are simply told to either pay up, park elsewhere or use alternative transport., happens on the railway now .
 
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Failed Unit

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Considering this is a thread about being served a SECOND improvement notice, with lowering passenger satisfaction and poor performance. Why would you want a failing TOC to run your service ? Surely you should be calling for a TOC with HIGH passenger satisfaction scores to take over :rolleyes:
You are missing my point. Transport Scotland are placing improvement notices on ScotRail. DFT let GTR (who’s performance is worse) away without punishment.

My point was I am jealous that Transport Scotland takes action. Simple as. But I would add that ScotRail may be failing but still beats GTR on all KPI. Which franchise was bottom in this survey (with no action taken against them?) Great Northern. So even if you take my point literally ScotRail are still much better than GTR, but both poor

Of course it would be preferred is both franchises were operated well. Greater Anglia are actually rated worse than ScotRail. Is DfT taking action? No.
 
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Bletchleyite

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No different from the presentation in London, where the roundel = the Mayor. "To Mayor of London & TfL, Every Journey Matters".
Probably even more so in London where the Mayor barely has any significant power over anything other than TfL - to a fair extent he's just an elected transport boss, and the vast majority of campaigning centres around transport.
 

Bletchleyite

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Considering this is a thread about being served a SECOND improvement notice, with lowering passenger satisfaction and poor performance. Why would you want a failing TOC to run your service ? Surely you should be calling for a TOC with HIGH passenger satisfaction scores to take over :rolleyes:
I'm sure they would. But the thing is, ScotRail is certainly better than Northern and quite possibly better than GTR too. I'd also venture better than the execrable XC, and probably ATW as-was as well.
 

ComUtoR

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You are missing my point. Transport Scotland are placing improvement notices on ScotRail. DFT let GTR (who’s performance is worse) away without punishment.
GTR got handed a £15m quid punishment. (and an enquiry) ScotRail got a letter, and a second one at that.

I have worked for a few TOCs now and they are all much of a muchness. The people on the ground almost never change and things tick over the same as they always do. The problems and complaints all roll on and nothing changes.

I genuinely believe it doesn't matter who has the keys. What people need to do is campaign for change rather than pointless ranting and needlessly calling for heads to roll.

ScotRail will do nothing of substance and will probably get a third letter.
 

alangla

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Superficially, things are starting to improve - only a few cancellations each day due to crew and more HSTs are actually running which will hopefully get the short forms down below 100 a day. Network Rail chaos doesn’t seem to have been as bad recently either, so the next set of figures will probably show something that they can point to as an improvement
 

snookertam

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Today ScotRail tweeted about a failure in the Haymarket area. Haven't found any specifics as to what line it was on although the disruption seemed to be mainly on the Fife and Borders routes from what I could gather. The failure appeared to be around mid morning when the tweets were sent out, at 16:00 they were tweeting that disruption was ongoing.

6 hours after the initial failure, they still haven't got the service recovered due to traincrew out of position? This was always an issue where there was a serious on the North Clyde routes, but if this sort of disruption is now being seen in the East then there's big problems.

I've heard through the grapevine that the apparent traincrew shortages were worsened by some terrible, awful decision making by senior management - which was then passed onto their control staff to adhere to. Also that a number of drivers are working their notice periods. Furthermore there is no rest day working agreement beyond 31st March for drivers, which if not resolved will mean an even greater shortage of traincrew. Talk of emergency timetables being implemented already.

Abellio are completely out of their depth, but going by how they contributed to the cancellations surrounding the "traincrew shortages" recently I have my doubts they are particularly concerned about that.
 

F Great Eastern

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Abellio in ScotRail seem to have a familiar ring to them like in East Anglia, promise a lot, a lot of hype, a lot of marketing and spin but operationally very poor as there is somewhat of a gap between what one arm believes can be promised and what the operational side can actually deliver.

I don't know ScotRail enough to comment on whether that is because the operational staff have been given an impossible task by those who did the bidding or are just out of their depth though.
 

Bletchleyite

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Abellio in ScotRail seem to have a familiar ring to them like in East Anglia, promise a lot, a lot of hype, a lot of marketing and spin but operationally very poor as there is somewhat of a gap between what one arm believes can be promised and what the operational side can actually deliver.
Interesting, as I find LNR (also Abellio) is a reasonably solid and reliable train service (near identical to that under LM) but with a publicity and marketing/spin approach that would be better done by a 5-year-old with a box of Crayola. I always had the impression that GA were like that too - the livery, for instance, is quite industrial and basic - more like Nederlandse Spoorwegen or SBB, both of which just feel like a solid piece of infrastructure rather than a dynamic business.
 

47271

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I think that they'll probably get away with it, again, because the service has improved quite a bit since the worst of the cancellations and short forms in the lead up to and around Christmas. The most likely outcome is that they deliver on the improvement notices, but only by the skin of their teeth.

So they'll likely live to fight another day, but we all need to reflect on how Scotrail got into the state that it's in. Of course it can all be explained away by saying that the 385 and HST programmes are massively late thanks to manufacturers, but there's got to be more to it than that.

Underlying short staffing, poor management culture and inadequate planning and organisation seem to be the main three going by some of the symptoms displayed by the HST shambles. Whether these are known Abellio traits elsewhere I don't know.
 

route:oxford

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GTR got handed a £15m quid punishment. (and an enquiry) ScotRail got a letter, and a second one at that.
It's a bit of an awkward one in that Nederlandse Spoorwegen, the state operator in the Netherlands, is already subsidising Scotrail with loans as a consequence of heavy losses. Chuck in an extra £15M of losses and it doesn't add weight to the nationalisation debate.

Today ScotRail tweeted about a failure in the Haymarket area. Haven't found any specifics as to what line it was on although the disruption seemed to be mainly on the Fife and Borders routes from what I could gather. The failure appeared to be around mid morning when the tweets were sent out, at 16:00 they were tweeting that disruption was ongoing.
The main specific was that it coincided with a 67,000 crowd at Murrayfield for the Scotrand - Ireland match and Scotrail had 2 coach units on Edinburgh to Glasgow as a consequence.
 

Stopper

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I haven’t used ScotRail since December due to how poor they were in a number of ways for several years, but it doesn’t really come as a surprise to me that this has happened. ScotRail have been poor on some of their most important lines (I can’t speak for all lines) and have made some bizarre timetabling choices as well as frequently failing to deliver on promises and blaming others when it goes wrong.

It’s not a surprise to see people comparing them to Northern once again, as if that has any relevancy to the fact that ScotRail have been poor for years. Just because Northern supposedly has the worst service, it doesn’t mean that everyone else has to be grateful for their poor service. It’s a laughable defence.
 

mde

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There is a massive misunderstanding south of the Border with Scotrail. It proudly states on every carriage that it is "Scotland's Railway" and "Reile na-h Alba", "Abelio" is in the tiniest of letters tucked away.
Tucked away? There is stickers on the outside of every carriage in several places (possibly not on 314) showing who the operator is… it's not that difficult to find.
 

Stopper

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People are angry, even more so now that whilst a terrible rail service is being delivered that is forcing people back into their cars, the Scottish Goverment, is introducing legislation that will mean work parking spaces will potentially be taxed at upwards of £400 per year.

*This is important* to rail staff in Scotland too. Many with early starts or late finishes will be making use of staff parking spaces. It means that (If the tax is passed on by employers) those on minimum wage will find the addition of Scottish Parking Tax equal to paying 30% income tax.
This is true as well. A lot of people on this forum are adamant that the new timetable is better for everyone. The reality is that it’s not, and myself along lots of other people I know (from 6 different places) have started driving to work. Especially where I’m from, the general opinion of ScotRail and the railway has never been lower.
 

snookertam

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The main specific was that it coincided with a 67,000 crowd at Murrayfield for the Scotrand - Ireland match and Scotrail had 2 coach units on Edinburgh to Glasgow as a consequence.
I'm aware of that, however traincrew wouldn't usually be out of position for hours afterwards with a failure in the Edinburgh area. There's supposed to be a TCS based at Edinburgh and an operations depot with PNB facilities. Also being the time of year that it is, there should be less annual leave and therefore would normally have more chance of spare traincrew.
 

Mingulay

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GTR got handed a £15m quid punishment. (and an enquiry) ScotRail got a letter, and a second one at that.

I have worked for a few TOCs now and they are all much of a muchness. The people on the ground almost never change and things tick over the same as they always do. The problems and complaints all roll on and nothing changes.

I genuinely believe it doesn't matter who has the keys. What people need to do is campaign for change rather than pointless ranting and needlessly calling for heads to roll.

ScotRail will do nothing of substance and will probably get a third letter.
I agree with you. All these letters and and fines and pompous transport ministers in Scotland and Westminster trying to give the impression they are influencing and on the passengers side. All window dressing. Transport Scotland are just deflecting their own blame in the selection of Abellio and their gullibility in the promises made and their part in choices made. I sense they just go thru the motions. Trains and stations still dirty. On my route fewer peak time services that are sensibly timed. No quicker often slower than before. Hard to find much positives other than electric trains are greener. But no quicker than 158 and 170 into Edinburgh even missing out two stations. Overcrowding still occurs. In May will they transform the service. Doubt it. But they will be all out of excuses by then or have they yet more blame to apportion elsewhere?

Abellio were gifted electrification and new trains. It should have been a step change in the daily commute for many. It has flopped all the more given the constant hype and over promising.

I doubt Alex Hynes will be framing his letters from TS for his wall. Filled under B and conveniently ignored and ommited from his cv for his next job on the railways. That gravy train is never delayed or short formed. !
 

cb a1

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My service is much improved over the tail end of last year. I only got one delay repay in January!

Whilst there is still the occassional 170 rather than a HST on the way to work, everyone who wants a seat still gets a seat on the 170.
 

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