SCOTRAIL bosses have been urged to improve performance after it was revealed around one-third of trains at stations in Barrhead and Neilston fail to arrive on time.

During the four weeks up to January 6, just 65 per cent of services made it into Barrhead as scheduled.

And the situation at Neilston station wasn’t much better, with 72 per cent of trains arriving on time.

West of Scotland MSP Maurice Golden said many residents will be “frustrated but unsurprised” to learn that so many trains have been running late.

The Conservative politician added: “The train is a vital transport link for many residents and they need a reliable service they can count on.”

ScotRail is held to account against a public performance measure, which means trains must arrive within five minutes of their scheduled time, having stopped at all stations.

Figures show that, for the 12 months to January 6, around 90 per cent of trains met the target but bosses admit that falls below the high standards expected.

Alex Hynes, ScotRail Alliance managing director, said: “Despite the challenges of recent months, ScotRail remains the best performing large operator in the UK.

“For nine out of ten of our trains to have met the target time over the past year is a strong foundation on which to build but, because we want to deliver even more for our customers and because we rightly expect the highest standards, we will come forward with a performance improvement plan.”

Abellio took over the ScotRail franchise in April 2015 and made profits of £9.5million in the first nine months.

Since then, however, the company has faced a number of challenges, with delays and cancelled trains linked to major work on railway lines.

For 2016, Abellio ran at a loss of more than £3m.

In the four-week period ending on January 6, around 83 per cent of trains met the public performance measure.

However, it has been stressed that ScotRail had to contend with several problems over the festive period, including signalling failures, power faults and icy conditions.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “I completely understand the frustration of any passenger who has had their journey impacted by poor performance.

“ScotRail has faced a number of challenges, not least the impact of seasonal weather. However, this can’t and won’t be used as an excuse.

“The dip in performance since autumn must and will be addressed.

“This should not take away from the very real efforts made by staff up and down the country.”