Network Rail regulation and performance


ORR: Train performance improving but still not hitting targets

Train performance in England and Wales has improved but is still some way short of hitting both Network Rail and regulatory targets.

The ORR’s Network Rail Monitor report for the last six-month period also shows that there has been significant underspend on both renewals and enhancements to the network compared to NR’s budget.

These changes are largely down to an increase of £1.8bn to the NR budget compared to the ORR’s assumptions from the last year, and means that the system has seen a total underspend of £2bn against the regulator’s own financial performance measure.

In terms of individual routes, Anglia underperformed the most with a 21% decrease in budget – mostly due to the additional costs of the Gospel Oak to Barking enhancement scheme – while the South East route registered a £30m higher budget than expected after costs came in lower than predicted.

The report explains that while overall performance has improved, it is still someway below what was expected from the ORR.

“At a national level train performance has improved in the first half of 2017-18. At the end of Period 7 punctuality as measured by the Public Performance Measure (PPM) moving annual average was 88.1%, an improvement of 0.7 percentage points (pp) since the end of 2016-17.

“This was 1.9pp worse than Network Rail’s year-end internal target and 4.3pp worse than the year-end regulatory target.”

One of the main reasons for the national performance improvement was the increased PPM of GTR, which, although it is still performing well under expectations, has improved significantly better than the last six-month period despite not hitting targets.

The regulator also singled out South West Railway (SWR), Great Western Railway (GWR), and Southeastern, for their poor or declining performance, although there was recognition that SWR had a high amount of delays caused by NR – at 72%.

The ORR also did an investigation into NR’s delivery to the Southeastern operator earlier in this period but found that the organisation was doing “everything reasonably practicable to deliver train performance.”

Specifically looking at TOCs, the regulator said only three operators, Grand Central, TfL Rail, and Virgin Trains West Coast, had a PPM moving annual average above performance strategy targets, while GTR was the furthest from reaching its targets.

The period 8 PPM measures showed c2c topping the charts with 95.9% of services arriving on time, while rural operators Caledonian Sleeper and Hull Trains had low scores, likely brought on by their remote locations.

Top image: ORR

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Huguenot   05/12/2017 at 14:36

I don't think the good people of Hull would describe their city as a 'remote location', being only 31 miles from Selby (formerly on the ECML). That is not the explanation of Hull Trains' poor performance. Try looking at the maintenance of their Class 180 Adelantes. It'll be at least 2 years before the Class 802s are available.

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