New figures released today, Friday, 18 October, show that the service customers receive on Scotland’s Railway has improved by almost 30 per cent over the past year.
The Service Quality Incentive Regime (SQUIRE) report released by Transport Scotland has shown that the service on ScotRail trains and at stations improved significantly between July and September compared with the same period the previous year.
Continued investment in ticket buying facilities, station environments and front-line staff has led to a 28 per cent year-on-year reduction in contributions to the SQUIRE fund; from £982,056 during July to September 2018 to £707,575, (excluding RPI) in the same period in 2019.
Customers have seen improvements in ticket buying facilities at stations, with availability of self-service ticket machines improving to 94 per cent – an increase of 12 percentage points compared to the same period last year. ScotRail is also trialling new on-train ticket machines to improve customers’ on-board experience, following a recent recruitment drive for front-line staff.
A closer working relationship with Network Rail has contributed to a 15 per cent improvement in the repair of platform surface issues, from 59 per cent to 74 per cent, and an overall reduction of £115,821 in SQUIRE contributions relating to stations compared with the same period in 2018.
In preparation for Autumn and Winter weather conditions, ScotRail has also installed new storage units at eight stations across the network to improve the environment at stations.
SQUIRE is used by Transport Scotland to assess facilities on ScotRail trains and at stations. If something is found during routine SQUIRE inspections that does not meet the expected high standard, ScotRail contributes to the SQUIRE investment fund.
All money raised through the SQUIRE fund is reinvested into projects across Scotland’s Railway.
The regime is the toughest of its kind in the UK and is a fundamental part of both Transport Scotland and ScotRail’s efforts to improve customer experience.
Other improvements include replacing lighting at various stations with new LED lights, rollout of body-worn cameras, and the trial of enhanced CCTV equipment to detect early warning trespass incidents.
ScotRail Sustainability & Safety Assurance Director David Lister said:
“These new figures show the hard work and effort of our people to deliver the level of service our customers expect and deserve is having a real impact.
“But we know there’s more to do, we’re trialling new equipment to make it easier for our people to check smartcards and tickets on board our trains, and our continued investment in new and upgraded trains, better stations and better facilities will ensure we continue to make improvements in the areas that matter most.”