HELENSBURGH’S MSP has called for a “proper public sector bid” to run Scotland’s railways after new figures showed Abellio ScotRail has failed to meet more than half of peformance targets.

Service Quality Incentive Regime (SQUIRE) statistics for the three months from September 15 to December 7 showed that the franchise operator failed to hit 21 of its 38 performance targets – achieving only 45 per cent.

Performance was particularly poor on a number of key issues including security, station lighting and station toilet facilities.

As a result of these failings ScotRail have been fined £690,409 for the period – though that is £190,000 less than for the same period in 2018.

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Abellio’s ScotRail contract will be ended in March 2022.

Jackie Baillie said: "Rail passengers who travel daily to and from Dumbarton, Helensburgh and Balloch, have had to put up with delays, cancellations, stop skipping, and short-formed trains, not to mention being crammed into carriages like sardines.

“Particularly shocking is Abellio ScotRail’s failure to meet performance targets on vital issues such as security and passenger safety. They must urgently address these failings. When it comes to passenger safety there can be no excuse.

“I welcome the Scottish Government’s decision to listen to our campaign and the voices of local commuters to end the failing Abellio franchise of ScotRail, but we need to also see a proper public sector bid to create a publicly owned ScotRail.”

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Abellio ScotRail pointed to a fall in the franchise's contributions to the SQUIRE fund – from £814,002 during the period from September 16 to December 8, to £623,075 (excluding RPI) in the same period in 2019.

The company also said customer service from its staff on trains and at stations had improved by an accumulative five percentage points.

ScotRail sustainability and safety assurance director David Lister said: “It’s great to see the hard work and effort of our people, to deliver the level of service our customers expect and deserve, continuing to pay off.

“The £475 million spent on new and upgraded trains, and continued investment in better stations, and better facilities will ensure we continue to make improvements in the areas that matter most.”

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