The running costs for ScotRail for 2022: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

You asked for the following information:-
For the projected annual running costs for 2022 for ScotRail broken down by staff costs, train and rolling stock hire and maintenance and running costs.

I wrote to you on 24 June and 25 July seeking clarification to your request confirming the following:-

Can you confirm whether the information is for financial year 2021/ 2022 (April 2021 to March 2022) known costs or for financial year 2022 / 2023 (April 2022 to March 2023) forecasted costs?

On 27 July 2022 your colleague, helpfully confirmed the following:-

Thank you for your email to my colleague. I can confirm that we would like the known costs for financial year 2021/22, the forecasted costs for financial year 2022/23 and the current known costs for quarter 1 of financial year 2022/23. I trust this clarification is helpful and the FOI request can now proceed.


Known Costs for F/Y 2021/2022:-
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance an exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (Substantial prejudice to commercial interests) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the commercial interests of Abellio ScotRail as a private sector commercial operator. This exemption recognises the need for officials to protect the commercial interests of an organisation that is required to enter into commercial contracts with other parties.

Disclosing the content of commercial information regarding the future commercial interests of a third party. This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’.

Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing Abellio’s commercial information to be protected.

Disclosure is likely to undermine the commercial ability of an organisation, which would not be in the public interest.

Copies of Abellio ScotRail’s accounts however should be available at Companies House and ought to provide most of the detail that you require in due course.

Known Costs for Q1 F/Y 2022/2023:-
For the first quarter of 2022-23 financial year the actual expenditure by ScotRail Trains Limited was £64.7 million on staff costs; £31.8 million on train and rolling stock hire; and £25.2 million on maintenance and running costs.

Forecasted costs for F/Y 2022/2023:-
The projected total expenditure for the year to 31 March 2023 by ScotRail Trains Limited is £300.5 million on staff costs; £134.1 million on train and rolling stock hire; and £131.1 million on maintenance and running costs.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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