Poor punctuality on rail network blamed on floods, staff shortages and rush-hour problems

12:47 11 January 2013

Floods, staff shortages and constant morning rush-hour problems combined to drag down rail punctuality last month.  Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Floods, staff shortages and constant morning rush-hour problems combined to drag down rail punctuality last month. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Floods, staff shortages and constant morning rush-hour problems combined to drag down rail punctuality last month.

The two main London to Scotland companies - East Coast and Virgin West Coast - ran fewer than four in five trains on time in the period December 9 to January 5, Network Rail said.

London Midland, where passengers have experienced repeated staff shortages, only reached a 77.7 percent trains-on-time figure for the period.

But some companies ran almost all of their services on time, with London to Tilbury and Southend company c2c achieving a 98 percent figure.

Overall, a total of 88.2 percent of trains ran on time in the four-week period compared with 88.8 percent in the same period over the new year in 2011/12.

Virgin’s figure was 75.8 percent and East Coast only reached 77.2 percent.

But nine of the 19 companies achieved at least 90 percent, with London Overground reaching 96.9 percent.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “Severe weather with multiple flooding, landslide and embankment slip events caused severe disruption over a number of days to many train operators and particularly impacted our long-distance customers.”

Although the flooding did cause much disruption and London Midland’s staff problems contributed to the difficulties, passengers on many lines were also hit by a series of signal faults and broken-down trains at peak times.

Today’s figures, which come only a few days after passengers saw their season tickets rise by an average 4.2 percent, do not include cancellations and delays caused by planned engineering work.

They do include any disruption caused when engineering work finished late.

Taking the period from January 6 2012 to January 5 2013, train companies ran 91.4 percent of trains on time.

This is less than the 92.5 percent target for the period 2009-14 - a five-year average that Network Rail is set to miss.

Announcing to-be-approved £37.5bn plans for the railways earlier this week, the company said that its target for 2014-19 would be unchanged.

An Office of Rail Regulation spokesman said: “The regulator has asked Network Rail to explain the cause of these failings and to provide an update on its progress to improve performance on the key long-distance and London and South East routes.

“It is imperative the rail industry learns lessons and improves train punctuality for passengers in the future.”

RMT transport union leader Bob Crow said: “No matter how the government and the train companies try to dress this up, the fact is that rail travel was more efficient, punctual and cheaper under British Rail and we will continue to press the case for full renationalisation.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London transportation news

Friday, March 27, 2015
The app has rapidly become both widespread and controversial [Photo by Sergi Alexander/Getty Images for SOBEWFF]

The fate of the popular car-booking app hangs in the balance as TfL asks the High Court to decide if it is operating illegally in the capital.

Friday, March 27, 2015
Do you know this man? [Photograph from British Transport Police]

Police are hunting a thug who attacked a 17-year-old boy with half a brick on a train journey from Crystal Palace to East Dulwich - then snatched a man’s phone in West Norwood station.

Thursday, March 26, 2015
London Bridge

Commuters travelling on trains to and from London Bridge via Charing Cross are facing headaches this evening due to signalling problems at Waterloo East.

Thursday, March 19, 2015
Passengers were forced to jump barriers to escape the chaos on Wednesday March 4  (Pic @BlowersSon)

Changes to train timetables, better advance warnings and increased staff numbers will be introduced to help ease commuter chaos at London Bridge station.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
There are serious delays at Euston station tonight after overhead power problems (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Commuters at Euston are facing a night of misery after damage to overhead power lines is causing delays and disruption to all services in and out of the major London station.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
The driver was pulled to safety from his burning vehicle after becoming hypoglycaemic and crashing (Picture: Twitter/@jacknathaniel)

A man was dragged from the burning wreckage of his car by a passer-by after he became hypoglycaemic and crashed on the A40 and his vehicle burst into flames.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...