The performance of Scotland's trains must be improved, according to a rail chief, after new figures showed worrying news about lateness and standards in stations.

The statistics on punctuality, performance and cancellations showed that 44.1 per cent of trains at Glasgow Central arrive late, as do 43.6 per cent of trains at Glasgow Queen Street and 40.3 per cent at Edinburgh Waverley.

The figures also show that overall performance is at 92.7 per cent, but with wide variations. At Arbroath station 92 per cent of trains have been late over the last year, while 93.4 per cent of trains to Fort William arrive on time.

Mr Verster is managing director of the Scotrail Alliance, which includes Abellio and Network Rail in a partnership that aims to drive up standards. He said some of the statistics were not acceptable and added: "we are aiming to increase our on-time performance from what it is now.

"On-time performance is a tough but ambitious measure we have adopted and intend to improve by 15-20 per cent in the next year."

He said attention to detail was key: "making sure we dispatch trains on time, making sure drivers drive at the right speed to get to junctions on time , making sure trains don't fail. It really is a focus on the basics."

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He attributed some of the delays to the closure of the Forth Road Bridge , which saw heavier than usual commuter use of the trains, and severe flooding last autumn. "As we've come out of difficulty the last two periods of train performance have been significantly better," he said.