Monitoring performance is a key aspect of the Scottish Government. Transport Scotland monitors ScotRail and Caledonian Sleepers quality of service through the Service Quality Inspection Regime (SQUIRE), which is a customer-focused scheme that measures the qualities of facilities at stations and on trains.
Previously the SQUIRE regime was a financial based incentive regime which rewarded or penalised performance within set, monetary parameters.
With ScotRail returning to public ownership on 1 April 2022 Transport Scotland undertook a deep dive review of the regime to refresh it and to adapt its suitability to the new public operation. This was done in collaboration with both Scottish Rail Holdings and ScotRail to analyse all Service Schedules.
Each Service Schedule was analysed to determine what was being audited, how it was being audited and why it was being audited. This allowed Transport Scotland and ScotRail to become more granular on certain aspects on the rail network to give a clearer picture of asset performance. This has also seen an introduction of a new accessibility schedule for stations and on trains to allow a focus on all aspects of accessibility in 1 schedule whereas before this was split between several.
Performance for each Service Schedule is now calculated and scored 1-5 (1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest) to widen out scoring to give a true reflection on performance. ScotRail then has the opportunity to rectify any notice served by Transport Scotland and must be evidenced. Upon satisfaction Transport Scotland will then credit ScotRail before a final end of period score is calculated. This will allow Transport Scotland to report on improvement on each Service Schedule and acknowledge ScotRail’s ability to rectify issues found on the network.
As part of the exercise benchmark scoring was revised taking into account the new scoring mechanisms. Of the 41 Service Schedules the benchmarks have been increased in 29 demonstrating the commitment of all parties to maintain high standards on the Scottish rail network.