At a time when everyone is being urged to wash their hands many times a day, and to wear gloves and facemasks in some circumstances, a new report has shown that the cleanliness of trains and stations across Scotland’s Railway has improved over the past twelve months.
Transport Scotland monitors the cleanliness of ScotRail trains and the availability of on-board toilets under SQUIRE (Service Quality Incentive Regime). Its latest report showed an accumulated improvement of 11 per cent between April 2019 and February 2020 compared to the same period the previous year.
The improvements have come about after ScotRail introduced dedicated travelling cleaning crews, implemented extensive train cleaning in depots overnight and invested in new controlled emission tank facilities at Yoker depot. They also report on the time before the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, so the enhanced cleaning regimes brought in as a result of the present crisis are not included in these results.
In addition, litter and contamination at stations improved by 16 per cent in 2019/20 compared to the previous year, thanks to a closer working relationship with Network Rail to repair platform surface faults.
SQUIRE is used by Transport Scotland to assess facilities on ScotRail trains and at stations, with results published in quarterly reporting periods. If something is found during routine SQUIRE inspections that does not meet the expected high standard, ScotRail contributes to the SQUIRE investment fund. The regime is the toughest of its kind in the UK and is a fundamental part of both Transport Scotland and ScotRail’s efforts to improve customer experience.
ScotRail made total contributions of £854,028 to the SQUIRE investment fund in the most recent reporting period – 9 December 2019 to 31 March 2020. Although it is a financial penalty for poor performance, it is not a fine that benefits Transport Scotland. All money raised through the SQUIRE fund is reinvested into projects across Scotland’s Railway.
David Lister, ScotRail’s director of sustainability and safety assurance, said: “Everyone at ScotRail has been working really hard to deliver for our customers in the areas that matter most, and these new figures are testament to that.
“There’s never been a more pertinent time to deliver high levels of cleanliness across Scotland’s Railway, and we’ll be doing everything we can to make sure that continues for the months and years to come.”