CONCERNS have been raised following a recent rise in the number of trains skipping scheduled stations.

Figures show ScotRail services failed to pull into stops 149 times in a four-week period towards the start of this year.

This compares to a low of just 45 last summer – and means the number missing stations has more than doubled in around six months.

However, it is still a substantial drop on the same period in February last year, when 374 trains failed to stop. This represented 0.7 per cent of all services.

ScotRail pledged to only skip stations as a “last resort” in March 2018, following widespread passenger outrage over the practice.

Scottish Labour transport spokesman Colin Smyth, who uncovered the latest figures using a parliamentary question, said it would “infuriate passengers to see stop-skipping on the rise again after promises from ScotRail to stamp the practice out”.

He said: “Figures like these are why more and more people are coming round to the argument of public ownership of our railways.”

Dutch-owned operator Abellio has repeatedly come under fire over ScotRail’s performance.

Nicola Sturgeon previously insisted it is in the “last chance saloon” and could be stripped of its contract if it fails to improve.

Responding to the latest figures, Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA transport union, said he was “disappointed but not surprised to see ScotRail break another promise to passengers”.

He added: “This just proves what every Scottish commuter knows. Despite billions of pounds of public subsidy Abellio have still not fixed the root cause of ScotRail’s train delays.

“That’s because the biggest problem on Scotland’s railways is the broken franchise system itself.”

A ScotRail spokesman said: “We pledged to suspend skip-stopping, except as a last resort. That is exactly what has happened, and customers are feeling the benefit of this improvement.

“We ran over 60,000 trains in March and only 0.2% of them missed a stop – that’s down more than 50 per cent from the same time last year.”

A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said stop-skipping had been “all but eradicated, except in exceptional circumstances, and currently represents around 0.2% of the 59,000 services ScotRail run each four-week period”.