Newly appointed Transport Minister Kevin Stewart has welcomed the opportunity to mark ScotRail’s first year under public ownership.
Since the Scottish Government brought ScotRail into public ownership on 1 April last year, ministers say they have continued to ensure the focus of delivery is on passenger needs.
Ahead of this weekend’s anniversary, Transport Minister Kevin Stewart has reflected on the achievements of the last 12 months and set out his priorities for ScotRail going forward.
Mr Stewart said: “Our aim for public ownership of ScotRail is delivering a service which listens and responds to passenger need.
“According to Transport Focus survey results published in October, overall satisfaction with ScotRail was 90 per cent.This is 4 per cent higher than the previous year and 3 per cent above the GB average.
“The most recent performance data also shows ScotRail is improving and that it is 2.8 per cent higher than across the rest of Great Britain. One of my key priorities coming into post is to lift this even further.
“The improved satisfaction and performance figures are testament to the hard-working people who deliver our rail services every day. They also show that we are making progress on putting passengers put before shareholder profits.
“Staff are already benefitting from this approach as can be evidenced by the successfully negotiated pay deal which includes a revenue share scheme, as well as representation on the Scottish Rail Holdings board. I want to ensure this continues and look forward to meeting people from across the rail industry in the coming weeks and months.
“Just as we opened new stations at Inverness Airport and Reston over the course of the last year, I look forward to connecting more communities to the rail network over the next 2 years, with new stations due to open at East Linton, Cameron Bridge and Leven.
“Looking to the 12 months immediately ahead, I have confidence in the smooth transfer of the Caledonian Sleeper to public ownership in June of this year. I will also progress the work initiated by my predecessor Jenny Gilruth on a National Rail Conversation.
“We know there will be challenges to be overcome, as we continue to recover from the Covid pandemic and deal with the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis and high inflation.
“However, we can do so from a position of increased confidence based on the strong foundations of the positive changes implemented over the past year and as we continue to listen to and prioritise the needs of the passenger across Scotland’s Railway.”
Photo credit: ScotRail