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.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

One male suspect has also died, with Parliament sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers hailed for helping to stop the attacker reaching MPs.

Read more

Lindsay Booth said The Apprentice taught her to put more emphasis on life than business.

Read more

Tina Fey and Jason Bateman star as brother and sister, who return home after the death of their father in This Is Where I Leave You.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

One male suspect has also died, with Parliament sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers hailed for helping to stop the attacker reaching MPs.

Most of downtown Ottawa is in lockdown, say police.

A gunman has shot a Canadian soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, then entered parliament and shots rang out, according to reports. People fled the building by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations, witnesses told the Canadian Press news agency. The top spokesman for Stephen Harper said the prime minister was […]

From birds and insects to a frog, iguana and lions: the beautiful shots of the Wildlife Photographer Of The Year exhibition.

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 15:35
The woman's arrest is linked to the ongoing war in Syria (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

Two people have been arrested in separate terror raids linked to Syria today.

Yesterday, 15:24
Monir Saleh pushed his 93-year-old victim so hard that she fell over, screaming [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

A man who pushed a pensioner with a walking frame over in a botched robbery has been sentenced to three years and four months in jail.

Yesterday, 13:54
Trains to and from Marylebone Station are disrupted by the incident [Picture from Google StreetView]

Trains are delayed by up to an hour between Princes Risborough and London Marylebone stations.

London Bloggers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.