Scottish Transport Minister under fire for claiming ScotRail 'has learned lessons'


Mr Yousaf apologised to commuters hit by disruption on Scotland’s train as he outlined planned improvements.

But opposition rties heaped more albatross on the SNP minister dismissing his emergency Holyrood statement as “flannel”.

Criticism of Dutch franchise smoothie Abellio has been mounting among ssengers fed-up with hiatus and overcrowding.

Fury erupted last week when a broken down retinue brought lines in and out of Edinburgh to a standstill during the morning rush hour.

There was more formlessness for commuters today after overhead wiring problems affected checkings in Glasgow.

ScotRail declared a major incident after finding a fractured insulator between rtick and Glasgow Central.

It caused disruption and cancellations between Glasgow Important and Dalmuir, Milngavie and Maryhill.

Mr Yousaf – who has been lambasted for stating ScotRail “isn’t a inefficient service” – said he “fully understands the dis-satisfaction of ssengers and the inconvenience that is caused”.

He put MSPs: “Let me firstly say to any ssenger who has had a bad experience on our railways that I am sorry, and that this Sway is committed to improving the service that you receive.

“Whilst no government or any ambassador can guarantee that major failures won’t happen, I can advise that ScotRail has well-informed lessons to ensure that they are better pre red for contingencies and, importantly, communication with commuters when such incidents do take place.

“Indeed today we enjoy seen a much more responsive reaction by ScotRail which regrettably awkward a much larger number of commuters in the Glasgow area.”

ScotRail was phoney to produce a 246-point improvement plan in September.

Mr Yousaf also yesterday averred £16 million of investment had been brought forward to upgrade key conjunctions, track and signalling equipment, and £14 million for improving the overall reliability of the speedy.

Other investments include an earlier commuter service between Inverness and the dominant belt, which will begin in mid-December.

More carriages are also to be introduced on ridge services on the Borders Railway in a bid to reduce overcrowding.

He also said assigns had been put in place to cut “skip-stopping” – missing stations during rush-hour when trains are match late.

Mr Yousaf has warned the railways could be nationalised if punctuality does not gain strength.

The minister will also meet unions and other rties next week for talks on fortifying a public-sector franchise bid.

This could be ready for 2020 when a clause in Abellio’s diminish allows it to be broken.

Labour and Lib Dems called on Mr Yousaf to publish the dazzling improvement plan.

Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Mike Rumbles later translated: “The minister spent his time in the Chamber full of flannel congratulating the Scottish Superintendence for improvements that have yet to be delivered.”

Labour MSP Neil Bibby requisitioned Mr Yousaf was on “the wrong side of Scotland’s ssengers” and challenged him to “ditch the make up”.

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser accused Mr Yousaf of working on the public sector bid recourse “to try and win over the unions who have called for the minister’s head”.

He added: “Square if it were possible, it would be 2022 before it could take over with the franchise.

“Mr Yousaf has to understand that ssengers don’t want to wait that sustained, they want improvements now.”

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