ONE in three trains travelling on the North Berwick to Edinburgh service ran late last year.

New figures from ScotRail show 33.6 per cent of rail services connecting North Berwick, Drem, Longniddry, Prestonpans, Wallyford and Musselburgh with the capital were not on time last year while more than one in 10 (11.3 per cent) between Dunbar and Edinburgh were delayed.

South Scotland MSP Craig Hoy, a former Haddington and Lammermuir ward member on East Lothian Council, said: “It is completely unacceptable that over a third of Scotrail services between North Berwick and Edinburgh were delayed last year.

“For regular rail users, it must be frustrating to show up to the station each day only to find out that their train has been delayed.

“If we want regular travellers and commuters to ditch their cars in an attempt to reach net zero, the Scottish Government must work harder to create a reliable railway service that makes trains a better alternative.”

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More than 1.3 million entries and exits at the county’s seven railway stations were recorded between April 2021 and March last year.

The number rocketed from the previous year – when severe coronavirus restrictions were in place – when just 342,000 journeys took place over the period between April 2020 and March 2021.

A spokesperson for ScotRail highlighted that the Conservative politician was referencing ‘on-time’ performances figures, rather than the “industry standard” public performance measure (PPM) figures, which is the figure Scotrail is held to account by Transport Scotland.

PPM is the percentage of all ScotRail passenger services that arrived at their destination within four minutes and 59 seconds of their timetabled arrival time having called at all scheduled stops along the way.

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ScotRail also publishes ‘on-time’ (arriving within 59 seconds of its scheduled time) performance figures in, it says, the interest of transparent reporting, and that “it is important to note that PPM is the measure that’s required to be reported to the Scottish Government,” says the company.

The spokesperson highlighted that between December 11 and January 7, 94.9 per cent of trains travelling between Dunbar and Edinburgh met the PPM target while it was 92.8 per cent in relation to North Berwick.

Phil Campbell, ScotRail head of customer operations, said: “Everyone across Scotland’s railway works tirelessly to deliver a safe, reliable, and robust service for our customers.

“In the most recent reporting period, more than nine out of 10 trains arriving at North Berwick and Dunbar station met their performance target, however, we understand and share the frustration of our customers when things do not go to plan, so we’ll continue to work flat out to deliver the service they expect and deserve.”