Transport Scotland pleased by SQUIRE results
By: RAIL EXPRESS
Scotland’s train and station quality annual performance results display encouraging improvements, but Transport Scotland pledges to continue the upward trend in passengers’ rail travel experience.
An annual evaluation of ScotRail’s rail and passenger services shows improvements in a range of key areas.
Transport Scotland’s SQUIRE (Service Quality Incentive Regime) system monitors services and facilities at stations and onboard trains across the country. It measures 36 different areas which affect passengers’ rail travel experience, from train cleanliness to station staff.
The system aims to drive quality improvements in rail services and facilities, and has a reputation as one of the toughest regimes of its kind in the UK.
Over the last 12 months, ticket offices, station shelters, clearing station graffiti, train and station staff, train cleanliness and onboard ticket inspection were all recognised as areas where standards were consistently high.
Meanwhile, although standards are up on the previous year, it was recognised that there is still room for improvement in dealing with car parks, help points/telephones, ticket vending machines, train seats, on-train destination boards and the seat reservation system.
ScotRail receives bonuses for above benchmark performance and penalties for areas that fall below benchmark under SQUIRE. Penalties for the 12 months to June 23, 2012, totalled £372,849 – down 16.5% on the previous year.
This is the third consecutive year that penalties have fallen and they are down 60% since 2009.
The recently published Passenger Focus National Passenger Survey recorded overall satisfaction as 89% – up from 86% the previous year and ahead of a GB-wide figure of 84%.
Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, Alex Neil, said: “Transport Scotland’s SQUIRE system is one of the toughest regimes in the UK with targets set as high as 99% for aspects of rail travel which we know are important to passengers.
“It is a credit to ScotRail that customer satisfaction remains higher than the UK average but they know they must not rest on their laurels.
“We want to see the trend of the substantial shift from road to rail which has resulted in more than 81million passengers travelling on ScotRail services this year continue and better trains, stations and services will play a major part in that.
“Over the past 12 months ScotRail has improved performance in a number of key areas and Transport Scotland will continue to highlight areas where further improvements are required to ensure that standards are high for rail passengers in Scotland.”
Steve Montgomery, managing director of ScotRail, said: “We welcome this third consecutive fall in penalties, which underpins steady progress in performance and tackling the challenges set by one of the UK’s toughest regimes.
“It is a tribute to staff efforts and initiatives put in place. There is still work to be done and our focus on standards and investment in stations and on trains to meet customers’ needs and expectations will continue.
Under the franchise agreement, ScotRail is inspected and results issued by Service Quality Inspectors on a daily basis, with results published on a quarterly and annual basis.
Further information can be found at http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/rail/rail-franchise/service-quality
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