New figures show trains are still running late

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The Independent Online

Rail passengers suffered from worsening punctuality standards this summer, according to official figures out today.

Rail passengers suffered from worsening punctuality standards this summer, according to official figures out today.

Only three of the 25 train companies improved their trains-on-time performance between May 28 and August 19 compared with the same period last year.

Three other companies performed the same as before, while all the other 19 performed worse than in summer 1999.

The poorest punctuality was seen on Merseyrail Electrics, Anglia's InterCity services and Connex South Eastern's peak-hour services. The percentage of trains running on time on all these routes was 6 per cent poorer this summer than last.

The three companies where punctuality improved were Cardiff Railway (up 7 per cent), Gatwick Express (up 3 per cent) and Island Line (up 1 per cent).

The latest figures, from the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority, continue a disappointing downward trend in punctuality performances in contrast to reliability figures - the number of scheduled trains which actually run - which have generally improved.

The SSRA, which, unusually, issued today's figures without comment, is currently inviting bids for the renewed franchises on the train passenger routes.

Those rebidding incumbents will find the authority taking their poor punctuality records into account when deciding preferred bidders.

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