Only five operators hit punctuality targets in Q1

Only five train operating companies met their punctuality target for the first quarter of 2015-16, according to new data released by the Office of Rail & Road (ORR).

The only franchises meeting their CP5 year 2 (2015-16) targets so far are Arriva Trains Wales, c2c and Virgin Trains East Coast, as are open access operators First Hull Trains and Grand Central.

Heathrow Express was the only open access operator that failed to meet its target, missing it by 2.5%, although it does have a relatively high target of 94.9%.

Grand Central surpassed its target by 5% but it had a proportionately low target of 84%, as did other operators on the East Coast Main Line.

The three franchises that surpassed their targets (marginally) all had considerably different targets, defined jointly with Network Rail through a performance strategy.

First Great Western lagged behind all other TOCs by failing to meet its punctuality target of 91.1% by 2.3%, while all other companies fell behind with punctuality variances of below 2%.

On average, England and Wales operators failed to meet targets by 2%, against a 89.6% target backdrop.

The ORR also released data showing the total number of passenger delay minutes that were caused by Network Rail, by operators affecting each other, and by operators’ own actions. In each case the target was missed, by between 14.8% and 16.5%, as shown below:

MinutesClick on the image to enlarge it in a new window.

In August, RTM reported on Network Rail figures for the national performance of railways during period 4, during which PPM figures slipped to 89.4%.

Just a few TOCs had reported improvements during that period, including c2c and Grand Central – both also successful in the ORR’s data.

Network Rail had been fined £53m by the ORR for performance shortfalls during CP4 after its punctuality level dropped to 86.9% - significantly below its 92% target.

In January 2014, ORR’s chief executive, Richard Price, explained in an interview with RTM that changes for CP5 would include a greater emphasis on punctuality, with the final 2019 output set at 92.5%.

Price said at the time that “punctuality matters enormously to passengers” and is the single cause of dissatisfaction in the railway – but the answers on a congested network “are not straightforward by any means”.

CP5 runs from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2019.

(Top image c. Gareth Fuller, PA Wire)


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