Ministerial statement on latest SQUIRE rail performance results

Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands said:

“The SQUIRE regime is a fundamental part of our efforts to improve the passenger experience and it is the toughest regime of its kind in the UK. A dedicated band of inspectors who check trains and stations every day of every month handing out penalties to the operator wherever faults are found.

“The latest quarter 2 results show a combined penalty of £483k, and this brings penalties to date for ScotRail’s performance within SQUIRE currently stands at £2.2m.

“This indicates further improvements can, and will, be made in terms of aspects of service delivery such as improvements in station shelters, Train Doors, Train Toilets and Train Announcements, as such Transport Scotland have requested Remedial Action Plans from ScotRail to focus on improving the performance in these areas.

"One of the most significant changes in this new franchise sees all penalties being retained in the SQUIRE Investment Fund. Several projects have been financed through this fund, such as upgrades to Leuchars Station in advance of the Open Golf Tournament Leuchars; shelter roof replacements across the network and upgraded help points. More such improvements are planned such as new passenger facilities at Tweedbank Station; the revamp of wheel chair spaces of class 156s and refurbishment of class 170s.

“Scottish Ministers and indeed passengers up and down the country quite rightly have high expectations of our railway.

“At the heart of our £5bn programme of improvements is an underlying need to provide best value for the public purse while delivering a first class service. SQUIRE continues to play a significant role in that delivery and we continue to work with ScotRail to ensure this regime delivers improvements for passengers.”

Notes to editors

  • The Service Quality Incentive Regime (SQUIRE) monitors and measures the quality of customer services provided by the franchise operator, Abellio ScotRail.
  • To do this, Transport Scotland inspectors regularly check the service quality of ScotRail's train and station facilities.
  • The SQUIRE regime is one of the toughest performance regimes in the UK with many of the target levels set at 90% or higher.
  • SQUIRE inspectors audit 353 stations and approximately 200 trains every four weeks. Service areas inspected range from toilets and timetables to train cleanliness, graffiti, staff service and the public address system. There are 35 station and on-train service quality areas inspected under this regime. These are referred to as service schedules.
  • The inspections cover all stations in Scotland, with the exception of Prestwick International Airport, Lockerbie, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central Station, as ScotRail is not the lead operator at these stations.
  • Performance results are published quarterly and can be shown by station, by train, or by line of route.
  • ScotRail is financially incentivised to perform better than the targets set and receives financial penalties for areas which fail to reach these targets.
  • The SQUIRE results can be found on the Transport Scotland website (select 'Performance Results' from this webpage; then select from available options under this heading)

Published 28 Oct 2016