Nearly one in three of Britain’s trains are late according to strict new National Rail statistics
Delays as small as a minute are recorded as regulator sets arrival targets for first time
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Thursday 29 August 2013
Nearly one in three trains across Britain are late and delays on some routes affect more than half of journeys, according stringent new punctuality figures.
The statistics from National Rail, which record a train as running late if it arrives any more than 59 seconds behind schedule, show that Virgin Trains only managed to ensure 47 per cent of its services on the West Coast Mainline arrived on time.
According to the “right-time” measurements, the only worse performance was the CrossCountry franchise run by Arriva, which includes Britain’s longest rail route from Aberdeen to Penzance. Services on the network achieved a punctuality rate of just 45 per cent.
The “real” punctuality figures were published following complaints that rail operators were able to massage their ratings under the main performance measure which allows a train to be classified as “on time” even if it is up to 10 minutes late. Under this more lenient system, known as the public performance measure or PPM, some 91 per cent of trains were deemed to be running on time in the 12 months ending on 17 August. The system classifies a service as late only if a long-distance journey has a delay of more than 10 minutes and a short-distance train is more than five minutes late.
When operators are measured against the “right-time” criteria, punctuality across all trains nationally falls to 68 per cent in the year to this month with long-distance services achieving a performance of just 53.2 per cent.
The best performers were Chiltern Railways with 87.5 per cent and London Overground with 86.2 per cent.
National Rail, which is in charge of rail infrastructure, has been set a minimum punctuality target for the first time. Under the target set by the Office of Rail Regulation, the infrastructure company must raise punctuality under the PPM to 92.6 per cent by March or face a fine of £1.5m for every 0.1 per cent it falls short.
Virgin Rail is also suing NR in an effort to force the company to speed up infrastructure improvements.
A spokesman for the Association of Train Operating Companies defended rail operators. “According to the Government’s own measure, train punctuality is better now than it was 15 years ago with nine out of 10 trains arriving as planned,” he said.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 4 Ed Sheeran dedicates song to David Cameron
- 5 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Thailand beach murders: Hannah Witheridge 'was raped by two men before being killed'
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...