Virgin Trains blames Network Rail for poor performance
Virgin Trains has launched a scathing attack on Network Rail, saying its performance on the WCML “continues to be unacceptable”.
The company came bottom in the latest punctuality league table released by Network Rail, with a performance percentage of just 82.9%, which the operator blamed on infrastructure failings – the responsibility of Network Rail.
The latest figures show that national train performance for period 2 is at 92.3%. This compares to 93.7% for the same period last year and is also down from the figure for period 1 – 93.3%.
The operator with the highest performance this period was c2c at 97.2%, and the lowest was Virgin Trains at 82.9%. The moving annual average is now at 91.6%.
The ORR recently announced that for every 0.1 percentage point Network Rail drops below its target of 92% punctuality for 2013/14, it will face a financial penalty increasing by £1.5m.
c2c managing director Julian Drury said: “Finishing in the number one spot again is a tremendous result for c2c, and I’m proud we continue to lead the way for the rail industry when it comes to the punctuality of our trains.”
Virgin Trains blamed Network Rail for the poor performance figures on the West Coast Main Line and said that it will work with the company to achieve better results.
A statement read: “We are concerned with the lack of focus on immediate improvement, as we and our customers must see short-term progress, especially as the Olympics and Paralympics will be a showcase for the industry.
“We have repeatedly told the ORR and NR that we must have a reliable infrastructure if we are to continue the remarkable growth of recent years, when we have seen the number of customers double to 30 million a year. Anything short of this will affect the potential of the West Coast Mainline to continue its success.”
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