BBC Scotland uses a handful of anecdotes from only three customers to suggest ScotRail has serious problems that are not evident from proper research


In their recent docudrama Mind the Gap: Are Scotland’s Trains Fit for the 21st Century?’ and in today’s evidence-weak piece on the website, ‘Commuters feel the strain of taking the train’, BBC Scotland has attempted another attack on the competence of the Scottish Government. As in their repeated scare stories on NHS Scotland, their critique is of very poor tabloid quality lacking a credible research basis and placing counter-evidence from the Scottish government or ScotRail Abellio, below and after that from an imbalanced handful of anecdotal comments from individual passengers ready to say what they want to hear.

First, we see no sign of the objective and reliable findings which the National Rail Passenger Survey for Autumn 2017, published in January 2018, presented. They found that 96% of ScotRail passengers were satisfied overall with their journeys. This placed ScotRail 4th (equal) out of 26 UK rail companies.

See this for more:

Misery for Herald readers as they imagine ‘misery for passengers’ on ScotRail, the 4th best out of 26 UK rail companies in terms of overall satisfaction, with a score of 96%

 Weighed against this evidence of 96% satisfaction from a scientifically undertaken survey, BBC Scotland make the case for their headlines with comments from just three customers. Just three! On what planet is this valid or reliable data?

Finally, it turns out that the complaints are all to do with the number of carriages at certain times. How does an alleged numerical shortage equate to trains not being ‘fit’ in a wider sense? It doesn’t. It’s just simple propaganda.


9 thoughts on “BBC Scotland uses a handful of anecdotes from only three customers to suggest ScotRail has serious problems that are not evident from proper research

  1. Daz February 27, 2018 / 5:32 pm

    They could not even get basic facts right. “Abellio took over the scotrail franchise in 2013” actually it was 2015.
    They claimed one of the passengers they interviewed travelled on the Edinburgh Glasgow line. He travelled from Edinburgh park so that’s the Edinburgh Dunblane service then.
    At fort William they showed staff in the First group uniform and the CIS screen showing a first scotrail train cancelled so archive footage and fake news.
    Then in the segment about the Levenmouth branch they have a blind guy and 3 OAPs stood on the track, the line may be out of use but it is officially still a live line and is the property of Network rail so they were trespassing on the railway. (This trespass incident has now been reported to the British Transport police)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. achmony February 27, 2018 / 6:04 pm

    Ah! The loathsome BBC. They are ‘the pits’.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. William Henderson February 27, 2018 / 6:09 pm

    Aye, give it to them, John! They deserve all they get. The only strategy they seem to have left is vilification – a very old thechnique perfected in Byzantium.

    Liked by 2 people

    • johnrobertson834 February 28, 2018 / 9:16 am

      Meaningful coincident. I’m currently reading Bettany Hughes’ whopper on the city and watching an annoyingly-voiced presenter on TV doing a quick three parter on BBC 4 on the same city.

      That Empress Theodora puts our lot into perspective


  4. Ludo Thierry February 27, 2018 / 6:52 pm

    It is curious how the beeb Jockland commissars are devoting so much effort to ‘weaponising’ Scot Rail’s performance when it received 96% overall satisfaction rating in the National Railway Passenger Survey so very recently. One imagines they are directing the bile at that (large-ish) element of the population who rarely, if ever, use the train – and so , perhaps, don’t have a good grasp of the ‘actual’ strongly positive views of the train using public? (By applying such a strategy the beeb Jockland crew must run the danger of alerting those regular train using viewers/listeners that if the commissars spout such keech regarding rail travel they are, probably, spouting it about other public services as well. (The boy who shouted ‘wolf’ principle). So keep spouting your bile beeb Jockland – you sign your own death warrants, for which I applaud you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ludo Thierry February 27, 2018 / 7:05 pm

    John – you recently ‘appointed’ me as your Wales Correspondent. It has been noted how Elin Jones (Presiding Officer in the Welsh Assembly) managed to find the Continuity Bill passed scrutiny whilst her Scottish Parlt counterpart Ken McIntosh chose not to accept the Scottish equivalent bill. The Scots people will draw their own conclusions about Ken’s motivations in this matter. However, can I also draw attention to something mentioned on beeb Wales’ site? – It appears that UKIP in Wales are backing the Continuity Bill also – see: Neil Hamilton, UKIP Wales leader, backed the legislation, saying: “By blocking a direct transfer of powers in devolved areas from Brussels to Cardiff, Theresa May has handed a weapon to Brexit opponents.”

    Gee whizz – Theresa is doing some job when she can get Lab, the sole remaining Lib D, UKIP and Plaid supporting the necessary legislation. Maybe her, hitherto unacknowledged, Scots Granny was doing some good by stealth when rocking Theresa’s cradle – do we really have a ‘sleeper’ on our side?

    Liked by 2 people

    • johnrobertson834 February 28, 2018 / 9:18 am

      You’ll need a hose-down after reading all that. Thanks for sharing though.


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