Train punctuality worsens


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The Independent Online

Train punctuality worsened last month, with the two main London to Scotland operators being the poorest-performing companies, it was announced today.

A total of 91.6% of trains ran on time between February 5 and March 3, compared with a figure of 92.5% for the same period last year, Network Rail (NR) said.

The East Coast company ran only 86.1% of trains on time last month, while Virgin Trains - which operates the West Coast line - had a punctuality figure of 87.4%.

The East Coast figure for February 2012 was an improvement on its 82.5% trains-on-time performance in February 2011.

NR said around 40% of the delays on the East Coast last month were down to external factors with a number of fatalities affecting punctuality.

The best-performing company last month was London Overground which ran 97.0% of trains on time.

Earlier this week, NR chief executive Sir David Higgins told the House of Commons transport committee it might not be possible to improve long-distance train punctuality without harming commuter services.

He said the West Coast line was extremely busy and had become "the M25 of the railways".