COMMUTERS in Glasgow have had to contend with more chaos on ScotRail services this morning.
Damaged overhead lines in the Finnieston area of the city meant that trains running between Glasgow Central and Dalmuir, Milngavie, Cumbernauld and Motherwell were cancelled and other services altered.
The disruption began early this morning and is expected to last until at least 12pm.
ScotRail have apologised for the disruption, and have since put on limited services on parts of the line.
Train tickets are also being accepted on First Bus services and the Glasgow Subway.
— ScotRail (@ScotRail) November 23, 2016
The disruption comes as Transport Minister Humza Yousaf is due to make a statement to MSPs on improving rail services after criticism of current ScotRail operator Abellio.
Mr Yousaf will face questions at Holyrood on the performance of Scotland’s railways and the prospect of bringing them into public ownership.
He has said he wants to work with unions and other political parties to put together a public sector bid to run the railways, which could be ready for 2020 when a clause in the contract with Abellio would allow it to be broken.
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The Scottish Greens will press Mr Yousaf to improve compensation for rail passengers experiencing poor service and for the “long overdue modernisation” of station facilities.
John Finnie, the party’s transport spokesman, said: “Greens have long called for Scotland’s railways to be publicly-run as they are a public service. While we’ve yet to hear directly from the transport minister on this point, it is welcome that he has spoken of the need to prepare a public sector bid.
“In the short-term, passengers deserve action to improve the current dismal situation. Far too often commuters either have to stand all the way or they simply can’t board a train due to overcrowding. Abellio need to understand that poor service is unacceptable, and that offers of compensation should be automatic and easy to complete.
“Occasional delays and technical problems are understandable, and these can be made bearable by providing decent facilities for passengers.”
ScotRail was forced to produce a performance improvement plan in September, at the request of Transport Scotland, after punctuality and reliability fell below standard, and a train breakdown in Edinburgh last Thursday caused widespread disruption for commuters, forcing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to apologise.
Abellio says that it is working hard to improve services and argues that regardless of who runs the contract, ministers are responsible for determining fares and seat numbers, and therefore the level of overcrowding.
Speaking before the statement, Mr Yousaf said: “I am committed to delivering the best possible rail service for passengers in Scotland.
“I understand how dissatisfied people are when the rail service is not what they expect and I share that disappointment.
“That’s why today I will outline the key actions that ScotRail are taking forward as part of their improvement plan and the details of future investment the Scottish Government is making in improving services.
“Over this year and next, we will deliver £16 million of additional infrastructure improvements and an ambitious refurbishment programme across 90% of our existing trains, providing valuable work for plants in Kilmarnock and Glasgow.
“This will help towards services improvements in the short term, and our £5 billion of investment in track upgrades, new carriages, seats and services will bring long-term transformation.”