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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-06434: Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 20 January 2017

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of reports that many rail operators, bulletin boards and websites continue to report trains as "on time" when journeys have been delayed or cancelled, what it is doing to (a) improve passenger communication and (b) ensure ScotRail and Network Rail are updating timetable changes and rail information in good time.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 31 January 2017

ScotRail conforms to the national PIDD (Passenger Information During Disruption ) programme, an industry-wide standard for Network Rail and Train Operating Companies to comply with agreed principles for dealing with disruption. This is a licence condition set by the Office of Rail and Road. This programme is designed to ensure passengers get the information they need when services are disrupted, at the right time, and through appropriate channels.

When disruption to services is anticipated in advance, such as extreme weather forecasts, ScotRail can impose “Emergency timetables” which allow the cancellation or reduction of services. This must be done by 10pm the evening before the anticipated disruption.

Along with the ScotRail website, use of social media as a platform keeping passengers informed via ScotRail’s twitter account now attracts over 151,000 followers. ScotRail’s Journey Companion “App” allows passengers to search for real time live service information, with over 520,000 downloads of the app since commencement of the ScotRail Franchise (1 April 2015).

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is contained within the ScotRail Franchise Agreement to monitor how well the franchisee deals with disruption, as reported via the twice yearly National Rail Passenger Surveys (undertaken by Transport Focus).