ScotRail has admitted it does not expect to hit its punctuality targets for another two years, according to the BBC.

The train operator's forecast suggests it will be 2021 before it reaches the target of 92.5 per cent of services running on time.

A review commissioned by regulators states ScotRail faces "significant challenges" in meeting the target.

However, the operator does expect to see some substantial improvements by March this year.

Ministers have ordered ScotRail to improve its performance following a recent surge in cancellations.

The train operator has apologised to customers and says its staff are working "flat out" to make the service better.

The most recent problems have been blamed on training issues with new trains, while strikes, engineering works and storms have also had an impact in recent years.

Under the terms of the ScotRail franchise, operator Abellio is expected to hit a target of 92.5 per cent of trains arriving at their final destination within five minutes of the advertised time

This currently sits at 87.3 per cent.

A ScotRail spokesman told the BBC: "We're really sorry to customers for the recent disruption to services. We know the impact this has on your day, and are working flat out to get things back to normal.

"Actions from the Donovan review have been praised in the Nichols report, and these actions have seen the banning of stop-skipping except as a last resort and improvements in train reliability.

"But our performance is not where we want it to be, and as this year progresses our customers will see improvements."