Scotland’s newest rail line will celebrate its first birthday on September 6 amidst complaints on its punctuality and shocking performance. The Borders Railway was expected to achieve 300,000 more trips from its target of 1.3 million before its first anniversary, but its poor performance is affecting passengers.
According to the figures of ScotRail, only about one in four trains or 28.4% has arrived on time since the first of the month. At least 70 trains have been cancelled over the first 10 days of August because of track and train faults, a fallen tree and a driver going on sick leave. On the other hand, David Spaven, a railway consultant and author, has stated that the Borders Railways is a classic example of a pound-foolish project.
If the poor performance of Class 158 trains and the frequency of failure on the track and signaling equipment were taken together, there is a clear case for inquiry in order to find out how such problems have occurred and allowed to develop. Rail campaigners have expressed their concerns on the delays and cancellations that have obviously reached epidemic proportions. The concerns have been ignored and travelers are now abandoning the unreliable railway.
According to the Scottish government, Network Rail and Scot Rail, a robust recovery plan was must be established immediately in order to save the Borders Railway otherwise passengers will look for better options. A Scot Rail spokesperson has said that they are doing everything they can for the convenience of travelers and they are working to match reliability with the demand for services on the new rail line. On the other hand, a Transport Scotland spokesperson also said that they are committed in ensuring that Scot Rail will deliver a reliable and punctual service across the network.
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