Fares, rail policy and DfT news

22.03.19

New to-the-minute measures for train punctuality introduced to tackle delays

New measures of train punctuality are to be released by train operators and Network Rail next month in a bid to improve performance.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) announced the new ‘on time’ standards which will record train times to the minute at every stop, and called them the “most transparent in Europe.”

The current Public Performance Measures judges a train to be on time if reaches its final destination within five minutes of the timetable, or up to 10 minutes late for long distance journeys.

The RDG said that train operators had worked collaboratively to develop the new measures as part of an ongoing plan to improve performance and reduce delays.

Rail punctuality across the UK sank to a 13-year low in 2018 according to the ORR, and rail satisfaction hit its lowest level in a decade amid strike action, timetable chaos and frequent delays and cancellations.

The ‘to the minute’ train performance data will be used as the primary method for measuring punctuality from April, and the data for each journey will be accessible on an industry-funded website.

Rail companies will now publish a spread of information about train punctuality within a minute of timetabled arrival or within three, five, 10 or 15 minutes.

The RDG said the measures would create a way of tracking train punctuality that better matches the real experience of customers and provides companies with more detailed information to help them understand and address the causes.

The introduction of the new measures is part of a coordinated programme of work led by the National Task Force, a cross industry group made up of RDG board members and operational leaders.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the RDG, said: “Every second matters to us and our customers which is why rail companies have together developed and are now using these to-the-minute measures for train punctuality at every station part of our plan to improve the railway today.

He said whilst investment in the railway would improve journeys over the coming years, in the short term “a more transparent measure of punctuality will help us cut delays and reduce disruption.”

Image credit - VictorHuang

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