Figures indicate improvement in ScotRail train and station facilities

ScotRail’s train and station facilities improved in the final weeks of 2018 when compared to the same period of the previous year, according to new figures.

Under the Service Quality Incentive Regime (Squire), auditors inspect 353 stations and approximately 200 trains every four weeks.

Statistics published by Transport Scotland show improvements in several areas were recorded during “period nine” – between November 11 and December 8 – when compared to the same period of 2017.

The overall performance of ticket offices rose from 94% to 98%, while station shelters were rated at 91% – an increase from 89%.

Station staff performance also rose, from 93% in 2017 to 97% in the most recent statistics.

The performance figures for staff on trains, including customer care, also rose by 4% to stand at 99% overall.

ScotRail’s performance has been criticised following the introduction of a new timetable at the start of December, with a shortage of staff cited as a key reason for a number of cancellations across the service.

The rail operator said a £5.6 million recruitment drive, with 140 additional front-line staff now in place, would help to improve the service.

It also said funding has been allocated for broadband at multiple stations, helping to improve the service provided by ticket vending machines and customer information screens.

Angus Thom, chief operating officer of ScotRail, said: “These figures are very encouraging and show the hard work of everyone at ScotRail to give our customers the best possible experience when travelling with us.

“We know there is still work to do, but the investment we have made in our front-line staff and on our new trains is delivering significant improvements for our customers.”

A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: “These significant improvements should be welcomed, not least in those areas related to the large increase in staffing.

“As the benefits of ScotRail’s ongoing recruitment continue to bed in, we expect to see even further improvements in future Squire results – bringing with that a better overall passenger experience.”