What is happening now?
In October 2014 Transport Scotland announced that it was awarding the new contract for the ScotRail franchise to Abellio. The new franchise, which started on 1 April 2015, is for a term of up to ten years with a review and a decision by the end of the fifth year to decide whether the franchise will terminate at the end of year seven or ten.
Transport Scotland has said that one of the policy objectives the new franchise should address will be to:
‘Focus on passengers, providing better services and enhancing resilience and operational effectiveness. This includes increasing levels of performance and punctuality over the franchise term.’
One of the specifications of the new franchise is that the successful bidder should boost the size of the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) to provide detailed information on passenger satisfaction.
The timetable for the award of this franchise began when the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) Notice was published in July 2013 followed by the pre-qualification process. The Invitation to Tender (ITT) was issued to shortlisted bidders in April 2014.
Our role in the franchising process
Transport Focus has provided information about what passengers have told us they want from the new franchise through our research. We have published our response to the consultation on rail services in Scotland. Having held discussions with all the shortlisted bidders during their bid development, we continued working with Abellio on their policies and plans as they mobilised for the franchise.
Our ongoing work
Now the new franchise is in operation we continue to use our rail research to ensure that it has passenger priorities at its heart. Key to this are the National Rail Passenger Survey results that are presented and discussed with Abellio, highlighting areas that need improvement. We also hold meetings to discuss performance, both on a regular and proactive basis and to react to any poor performance.
We continue our statutory role in helping passengers with their unresolved rail complaints. Where a passenger has been unable to resolve their complaint directly with Abellio we work with them to achieve a better outcome for the passenger. We use the information from these ‘appeal’ complaints to help Abellio understand the root causes of unresolved complaints and continuously improve the customer service they provide.
To view our National Rail Passenger Survey reports or to access these and our appeal complaints data through our Data Explorer tool, please click on the links below:
Transport Focus reports and publications
|October 2014||Passenger Focus response to announcement of ScotRail award|
|February 2012||Passenger Focus response to Transport for Scotland ‘Rail 2014 – public consultation’|