The ScotRail Alliance has published its latest performance improvement plan this month with a mission of driving-up standards firmly at its heart as hey set out to build “the best railway Scotland has ever had”.
Recent figures suggest that nine out of ten of ScotRail’s trains arrive within their target time; however, Alex Hynes, ScotRail Alliance’s Managing Director, has commissioned an independent review to lay the groundwork for further, future improvements. Nick Donovan, previously Northern Powerhouse Rail Director for Transport for the North, studied ScotRail’s processes and has made 20 recommendations for improvement, all of which have been accepted by ScotRail and form part of the performance improvement plan.
The key aspects of the improvement work include measures to review and improve infrastructure and train reliability, better infrastructure performance throughout autumn, a review of both short and long-term fleet maintenance activities and the suspension of skip-stopping, except as a last resort. The determination of the root cause of infrastructure component failures should be improved, and failures that occur soon after work completion should be eliminated through additional post-work inspections and robust governance arrangements.
Donovan further recommended a network-wide performance model capable of simulating dull network dependencies, including interactions between unit and crew diagrams, and that measures be urgently put in place for right-time departures at Whifflet and Milngavie stations.
Over the coming months, Network Rail Scotland and ScotRail will work together to implement the performance improvement plan, and Donovan will continue to work with the ScotRail Alliance to support the delivery of the improvement plans.
Alex Hynes commented: “Nine out of ten ScotRail trains arrive within their target time, which makes us the best performing large operator in the UK. But we know our customers demand the highest possible standards, which is why I commissioned an independent review into train service performance in Scotland.”
“The performance improvement plan will take time to deliver. A lot of hard work will be needed to tackle the underlying problems that can cause performance to fall below the standard our customers expect.”
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