Record number of trains on time

Annual train punctuality has reached the 90 per cent mark for the first time since records began in 1992, Network Rail (NR) announced today.



A total of 90.6 per cent of trains ran on time in the 12 months ending in March, while the figure for April was a monthly record of 93.5 per cent.

NR's operations and customer service director Robin Gisby said: "Passengers are today experiencing the most punctual train service ever provided on Britain's railways."

Train punctuality dipped sharply at the beginning of this decade after speed restrictions were brought in following the October 2000 Hatfield rail crash.

When NR took over responsibility for rail infrastructure from Railtrack in 2002, punctuality was less than 79 per cent.

Best-performing company in 2008/09 was the London to Tilbury and Southend operator c2c, which achieved a trains-on-time figure of 95.3 per cent. Chiltern and Merseyrail also reached the 95 per cent mark.

Two companies - Virgin Trains and London Midland - did significantly worse in 2008/09 than in 2007/08 due to the disruption caused by the £9 billion upgrade of the West Coast Main Line, which was completed last December.

Virgin's punctuality figure slipped from 86.2 per cent in 2007/08 to 80.0 per cent in 2008/09, while London Midland declined from 88.9 per cent to 86.5 per cent.

The biggest year-on-year improvement was made by First Great Western, whose punctuality rose from 83.1 per cent in 2007/08 to 90.5 per cent in 2008/09.

Mr Gisby praised the hard work of NR staff and train companies in the punctuality improvement.

He said: "But we are far from complacent and realise that passengers still experience some delays, albeit less often than in times past. Our focus in the years ahead will be to drive performance to even higher levels with particular attention given to reducing the number of very late services."

Alec McTavish, director of policy and operations at the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: "Delivering the best-ever level of punctuality is a significant achievement by all parts of the rail industry, particularly as we ran an additional one million more timetabled trains last year than British Rail did just before privatisation.

"Looking forward, our priority must now be to narrow the differences in performance across different services and achieve a more consistent delivery across the whole network."







Gerry Doherty, leader of the TSSA transport union, said: "These figures are just spin and poppycock. They do not begin to compare with the old British Rail (BR) figures before privatisation in 1996.

"The old InterCity services regularly reported punctuality figures of 92 per cent and the biggest part of BR, Southern, regularly reported figures of 95 per cent during the early 1990s.



"NR is comparing itself with the worst levels of performance achieved by Railtrack, the little-lamented private rail company that went out of business in 2002.



"It is not comparing itself with BR, a public sector service, that achieved far better results than NR at only a fifth of the cost."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    ICE ICT: Lead Business Consultant

    £39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...

    Day In a Page

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map
    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
    Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week

    Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
    A year of the caliphate:

    Isis, a year of the caliphate

    Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
    Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

    Marks and Spencer

    Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
    'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

    'We haven't invaded France'

    Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
    Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

    Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

    The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

    Remembering 7/7 ten years on

    Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
    Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

    They’re here to help

    We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
    What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

    What exactly does 'one' mean?

    Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue