Herald under fire over sneaky headline on one of UK’s best railway companies


Here’s today’s headline:

‘ScotRail under fire over record £4.5 million performance fine’

The headline was later changed but remains in the url. You’d be forgiven for thinking that means a single £4.5 million fine when in fact it’s the total of all fines over the last year. Nineteen paragraphs in we find that the ‘fire’ comes from just one source, Dr John Mccormick of the Scottish association for Public Transport in a very short, vague quote, which looks like a sleepy response to an early-morning approach from the Herald rather than any spontaneous attack by him. Twenty paragraphs into the report we discover that the word ‘fine’ or ‘fines’ could have done with speech marks as they are not actually fines but a ‘reinvestment fund’ which is reinvested in the rail system.

To add a little context to the above story, here’s what the National Rail Passenger Survey for Autumn 2017, published in January 2018, found – 96% of ScotRail passengers were satisfied overall with their journeys. This placed ScotRail 4th (equal) out of 26 UK rail companies.


As for the fines. Is £4.5 million a high figure in the wider context? Well Southern Rail were fined £13.4 million in 2016/17 for just the London to Brighton run.



7 thoughts on “Herald under fire over sneaky headline on one of UK’s best railway companies

  1. Bugger (the Panda) May 7, 2018 / 10:17 am

    Think they have a competition down the Drunken Journalist Pub for the most outrageous near lie they can get away with against SNP Gov.

    Creative Untruths R Us

    Liked by 2 people

    • William Henderson May 7, 2018 / 11:57 am

      Aye, and that’s them on a good day when they think they’re being clever!!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Bugger (the Panda) May 7, 2018 / 12:03 pm

        Pretty sure Dick Leonard gets his next day’s FM Questions at closing time from a pub in London.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Bugger (the Panda) May 7, 2018 / 12:04 pm

    Pretty sure Dick Leonard gets his next day’s FM Questions at closing time from a pub in London.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alasdair Macdonald May 8, 2018 / 8:42 am

    And, of course, they headlined on the survey which identified Queen St as ‘the worst station in Britain’. This is a station which is currently being redeveloped and is stripped to the bare essentials and has recently had major electrification work done which required a significant rerouting of services using low level.

    All of this has and had been planned for some time, with passengers being well informed about changes. With regard to the electrification, we had a full week of stories – anticipatory (passengers dreading forthcoming rail chaos), on-the-spot (just how bad are things for rail travellers), and retrospectively (some gantries are 2 cm too low). And the response of passengers? “We knew this was coming and were prepared, everything seem to have gone well. Hardly any queues”.

    Yesterday, I returned from a weekend in London, where I experienced the continued dismal service of Southern Rail.


  4. Derick Tulloch May 9, 2018 / 10:21 am

    BBC Scotland have joined in the general attack. Power and signal outages, which are the responsibility of the UK State-owned Network Rail, being blamed on Scotrail. Some deadbeat from Scottish Labour allowed to attack, with no quote from the Scottish Government.

    I see at least it’s been opened for comments and numerous folk are putting them right. Wonder what will be broadcast?


    • Derick Tulloch May 9, 2018 / 1:10 pm

      And now (gasps in surprise) the story where commentators were correcting the BBC report has vanished from the front page, to be replaced by a new Scotrail Bad story which turns the investment of £485m in new trains into a catastrophe. No comments allowed on this on.

      BBC Scotland are beyond a joke


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