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ScotRail has paid out “staggering” £1.5 million in compensation since SNP nationalisation

ScotRail has paid out a “staggering” £1.5 million in compensation to rail passengers since it was nationalised by the SNP Government in April 2022, the Scottish Conservatives can reveal today.

In response to a Freedom of Information request from the party, ScotRail confirmed that £1,526,649.92 has been paid out to passengers as a result of delays, cancellations and other disruptions up to December 21 last year.

Shadow transport minister Graham Simpson says SNP ministers have “overwhelmingly failed” to deliver a reliable service to “suffering” passengers as they promised to do when bringing the railways under their control.

In the first six months of nationalisation, ScotRail received over 9,000 complaints about poor train services and were forced to pay over £400,000 in compensation for delays and cancellations.

Despite the lack of reliable services, ScotRail have announced that their ticket prices will rise by almost nine per cent in April, which is nearly double the increase announced for passengers in England and Wales.

Graham Simpson has urged SNP transport secretary Fiona Hyslop to finally deliver a “real vision” for Scotland’s railways to encourage people on to public transport and to stop such large sums having to be shelled out as a result of “chaotic” services.


Scottish Conservative shadow transport minister Graham Simpson MSP said: “This compensation bill is absolutely staggering. Taxpayers are footing an enormous bill as a result of the SNP typically overpromising and underdelivering.

“Nicola Sturgeon and other senior SNP figures promised a bright new future for our railways under nationalisation, but the exact opposite has occurred. Suffering passengers have had to endure endless delays, cancellations and disruption to services as a result of the overwhelming failures from successive SNP transport ministers.

“Within weeks, journeys had been axed and an emergency timetable had to be put in place. Thousands of complaints were received and within the first six months ScotRail had already shelled out over £400,000 in compensation to passengers. That bill has only continued to soar.

“Given Fiona Hyslop now has a sole focus on transport in the SNP cabinet, she must urgently outline a real vision for the rail network. She should be pulling out all the stops to encourage people onto public transport and to reduce these compensation payments.”


ScotRail has paid out £1,526,649.92 to rail passengers since nationalisation. Scottish Conservative research has found that in the financial years 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 ScotRail has paid out £1,526,649.92 to rail passengers, due to delays, cancellations and other disruptions.  For the year 2022-2023, £858,696.30 was paid out and in 2023-2024 – up to 21 December 2023 £667,953.62. (Freedom of Information request available upon request). 

ScotRail has increased ticket prices by nearly 9% almost double the price rise in England and Wales. ScotRail announced that train tickets will rise by 8.7% in April. Compared to just a 4.9% price rise in England and Wales. (Sky News, 22 December 2023, link).