Rail regulators have set Network Rail (NR) tough new train punctuality targets for the next five years.
Nine out of 10 trains must run on time for all regional, London and South-east England and Scottish services for the period from April 2014.
On long-distance routes, First Great Western must run 90 per cent of trains on time while a target of 88 per cent has been set for the two main London to Scotland routes – the East Coast and West Coast main lines.
Announcing rail funding for 2014 to 2019, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) said that by 2019 fewer than three in 100 trains on the West Coast line and around four in 100 on the East Coast line should be hit by cancellation or delays of more than 30 minutes. The ORR also increased, by £32m, the funding to close around 500 level crossings and improve safety at hundreds more of the highest-risk crossings. Total funding will be £109m.
NR will receive more than £21bn over five years to fund the day-to-day running of the network. The ORR will require the company to bring down the cost of running the network by around 20 per cent.
The ORR chief executive Richard Price said: “Network Rail has made great strides in improving safety, performance and efficiency… Supported by significant levels of funding, working more closely with the rest of the industry and learning important lessons from the past, the company is capable of delivering more for customers.”