ALMOST 75,000 trains have been cancelled under Abellio’s stewardship of ScotRail, it has emerged.

Figures show an average of 327 trains a week or 47 a day have been cancelled since the franchise began.

Dutch firm Abellio took over ScotRail in 2014 and started running passenger services in April 2015.

Scottish Labour is now pushing for the SNP Government to end the 10-year franchise early and bring the service back into public ownership by 2022.

Highlighting the latest figures, the party’s transport spokesman Colin Smyth said it was time to put passengers first.

He said: “Hundreds of trains are being cancelled every week in Scotland under the failing Abellio franchise.

“Passengers were promised a ‘world leading’ deal by the SNP but they have instead have had to put up with a miserable service.

“To make matters worse rail fares have increased and a new price rise is set to be imposed on passengers in January.

“Enough is enough. Scottish Labour will table plans on Wednesday at Holyrood to end the Abellio franchise at the earliest opportunity and return our railways to public ownership.

“It’s time to put passengers before profits.”

READ MORE: Weekend of train chaos as ScotRail run out of drivers 

Official government figures show 74,514 trains have been cancelled since Abellio began running the franchise.

Meanwhile, fares are set to rise again in January in line with inflation, meaning they will have increased by 13 per cent since the Abellio contract was awarded.

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA transport union, described the cancellation figures as “damning”.

He said: “Scotland needs a first-class railway not this daily shambles from ScotRail under Abellio.

“The SNP Government must take responsibility for their actions. If [SNP Transport Secretary] Michael Matheson and Nicola Sturgeon are happy with their record over the past four years, then they are in a minority of two.

“It’s time for the SNP to come clean with Scotland’s public and tell them how they are going to put this right. The Abellio franchise is an utter failure – it would be a brave politician who argued otherwise.

“The bottom line is we must end this sick joke and bring ScotRail services back into public ownership without delay.

“That’s why any MSP who truly stands up for Scottish rail passengers must vote with Labour to end this sorry saga.”

However, a spokesman for Mr Matheson hit back at Scottish Labour and called for full control over rail infrastructure to be handed to Holyrood.

He said: “Labour’s hypocrisy on this issue is astonishing – they have consistently blocked the right for a public sector body to bid for a rail franchise.

“It was the SNP who won that right and meanwhile, Labour has just handed the contract for rail services to a private sector firm in Wales.

“It’s essential that responsibility for our railways rests with the Scottish Parliament so that we can meet the needs of commuters.

“The only common sense approach is for Westminster to hand over control of the rail infrastructure to the Scottish Parliament.

“We urgently need control of Network Rail to be devolved – allowing a joined-up, coherent approach to transport, rather than leaving our railways in the hands of the Tories.”

READ MORE: How cancelling fewer than 4% of trains caused transport chaos 

A ScotRail spokesman said: “The unprecedented investment in upgrading the infrastructure, and introducing new and upgraded trains, is delivering a consistent level of performance and we are looking forward to continuing improvements in the weeks and months ahead.

“We understand and share the frustration of customers when things don’t go to plan, and everyone across Scotland’s railway is working round the clock to deliver the service our customers expect and deserve.”

ScotRail says it operates more than 2,400 services every weekday, delivering 625,000 seats for customers. It argues £475m of investment, combined with better infrastructure, is delivering faster journeys, more seats and more services.

Ms Sturgeon previously warned the operator it was in “the last chance saloon” over its performance.