One-in-four trains arriving in Aberdeen are late, figures show

A call has been made to freeze planned price hikes in the new year.

About one-in-four trains arrived late into Aberdeen in the last year, the latest figures from ScotRail show.

Punctuality dropped even further at smaller North-east stations, with only about half the trains arriving on time at Dyce (54%), Elgin (48%), Inverurie (55%) and Stonehaven (57%).

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale highlighted the poor service at First Minister’s Questions and called for a freeze on regulated fares.

Ms Dugdale said commuters should not have to pay an above-inflation 1.9% increase – which will see the annual cost of an Aberdeen to Edinburgh season ticket rise by more than £130 – for a sub-standard performance.

She said: “In January, the price of regulated rail fares is due to rise. That makes people even angrier.

“I think passengers deserve a break, which is why today Labour is publishing a plan to freeze all regulated rail fares next year. Surely the First Minister agrees with us that people deserve a break. She has the power to give them one, so will she back Labour’s call for a 2017 rail fare freeze?”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would consider costed proposals.

She said: “Of course we will consider any proposal that is put forward.

“We will particularly look to see how that proposal would be paid for, because it is important that we can implement and deliver the investment package I have spoken about.

“We will consider any proposals but, above all else, we will ensure we have fairness around the funding of our railways so that we can carry out the investments that are required to make sure that standards improve.”

The freeze is expected to cost £2 million.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said rail improvements around the North-east were underway.

He said: “Everyone rightly expects a railway network that operates effectively, including passengers in Aberdeen, so when things go wrong I fully understand the dissatisfaction of passengers and the inconvenience that is caused.”