The Scottish Government has come under fire after it has emerged that it does not know how many people have been effected by the delays and cancellations on the Borders Railway.
In response to a Parliamentary Question asking how many people have claimed compensation for the delays they’ve experienced on the Borders Railway, the Transport Secretary conceded that the Scottish Government “does not have” that information.
Under ScotRail’s Delay-Repay scheme, commuters whose journeys have been delayed by half an hour or longer are entitled to claim for compensation from ScotRail.
However, last week the compensation scheme was criticised by one of the UK’s leading watchdogs. The consumer group, Which?, found ScotRail’s compensation scheme to be the joint worst in the UK; requiring over 24 different documents in order for commuters to lodge a claim.
Generally, compensation payments on ScotRail services have risen massively over the past year. The managers of Scotland's railways have been criticised after new figures showed in 2018/19 the rail operator paid £1,119,818, whereas the previous year £647,670 was paid under the scheme, a 72.8% increase.
Michelle Ballantyne, MSP for South Scotland, has claimed that the lack of information on the number of Borders commuters affected is an indication that the Scottish Government is not on top of the problem.
Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:
“Despite several months of complaints, delays and cancellations, the SNP still have no idea how many people have been affected, or how many people have claimed compensation.
“This further goes to show the SNP’s bark is worse than its bite. Despite talking a big game about holding ScotRail to account for its failures on the Borders Railway, we have clear evidence that they are not on top of the issue.
“Meanwhile, commuters in the Borders continue to feel the brunt of the poor service. After months of deflection from the SNP, we’re yet to see any meaningful action from them to tackle the issues on the Borders Railway.”