Letter From Keith Brown is reprinted below
Scotrail's customer website is now up and running, providing information for customers and seeking feedback, including on the proposed May timetable – it can be accessed here: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/plan-your-journey/timetables-and-routes/proposed-timetable-improvements.
I write to update you on the meeting yesterday between Keith Brown MSP and the Operations Director of Scotrail. A number of issues were discussed regarding the issues currently facing rail passengers in Mr Brown's constituency, and a note of the discussion to various points covered is summarised as follows:
* Ongoing cancellations and disruptions – unacceptable levels of service for customers served by Alloa, Bridge of Allan and Dunblane stations.
The delay in delivery of the type 385 electric trains and the training of drivers to operate them has seen disruption to services continue. Industrial action (now resolved) also affected timescale to complete this necessary driver training. 100 train cancellations occurred on Monday, down to 34 on Tuesday, but this is clearly unacceptable. Training is proceeding on a daily basis which will see incidences of cancellations and disruption continue to reduce.
* December timetable – promised benefits to customers using these stations following the considerable period of disruption caused by electrification work is not being realised in the new timetable, and in some instances services offered are worse.
The delay in delivery of the type 385 electric trains has adversely affected the ability of Scotrail to deliver a timetable that provides regular services at necessary peak times, and reduce journey times whilst increasing seat capacity. 31 of the type 385 trains have now been delivered, and the issue affecting their full deployment to deliver the December timetable is that of trained drivers, which is being rapidly addressed. A further 39 type 385 trains are due to be delivered in the next few months, which will provide the capacity to deliver a much more advantageous timetable in May.
The May timetable will shortly be consulted upon with customers – the dedicated webpage for this, which will include an email address for customers to feed in views, should be established and live within days. Those comments will be considered in context with information from other stakeholders on the needs of other communities in the corridor and also their views on how best to attract customers from private car to public transport.
* Responsibilities on Scotrail where the last service of the day is cancelled or stops early, eg at Stirling.
Scotrail is responsible for providing alternative transport where services are cancelled. This includes taxis where this is appropriate. In answer to point about alleged instances where no staff are available to arrange this: this should not be happening. Mr Brown to write formally to Scotrail about this issue
I hope this summary of meeting notes is helpful. Scotrail have undertaken to provide further information to us, and I will forward on any such further information Mr Brown receives on this matter, including details of the dedicated website when this is launched by Scotrail.