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Last Updated: Friday, 5 January 2007, 12:53 GMT
Rail firm fined for performance
Passengers on a First ScotRail train
First ScotRail was fined almost 500,000
First ScotRail has been fined almost 500,000 by Transport Scotland after a "dip" in performance.

The train company incurred penalties of 478,464 in the last quarter - an increase of 169,501.

Half of that increase was due to a fine imposed for failing to collect tickets at Glasgow's Argyle Street Station.

Mary Dickson, First ScotRail's managing director, said: "We are proud of substantial improvements across problem areas. We will build on that."

In the Strathclyde area, there were declines in performance in station posters, ticket collection, key stations and the fault or complaint record.

First ScotRail was praised for improvements in station toilets, on-train CCTV and ticket offices in Strathclyde.

'Stringent regime'

Across Scotland, performance in on-train CCTV, station posters and the public address system on trains declined.

Improvements were noted in landscaping and vegetation, station graffiti and train doors across the country.

Ms Dickson added: "We are committed to customer service quality, with the latest results testifying to how stringent the regime is."

Heather Battson, of the national transport agency which compiled the report, said: "Transport Scotland will continue to monitor First ScotRail's performance to improve the quality of facilities and services for passengers in Scotland."

The results of the customer service study cover the period from 17 September to 9 December.

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