Northern Powerhouse

13.02.20

TransPennine Express receives ‘public target’ from Transport for the North

Agreed by Transport for the North leaders in back in January, the ‘public target’ follows a period at the end of last year when TransPennine Express returned the worst performance figures in the country, with sometimes less than half their services meeting basic performance targets.

TPE services suffered significantly as the operator struggled to integrate new trains which arrived late into service and experienced teething problems.

Transport for the North has illustrated clearly their expectations for TPE by asking for confidence and trust to be reinstated for passengers.

They have also asked the operator to return performance to early 2019 levels by March 2020, progress further on this target by summer 2020, show clear development in restoring its full timetable and show clear growth in timely local communication to passengers.

Transport for the North has stated the first milestone for TPE should be their performance in March 2020 to reach the level achieved in the first half of 2019, assessed against what is known as the Public Performance Measure (PPM) which is a measure of reliability and punctuality.

Within the first half of 2019, covering January 6th to June 22nd, the median daily PPM stood at 86%. Transport for the North will make an initial assessment at the end of March 2020 and consider further milestones at that point. At some stages in November 2019, TPE’s performance stood as low as 45% PPM.

After TPE removed a number of services because of the late introduction of new rolling stock, Transport for the North has specified the operator needs to show clear progress in restoring a full timetable as the trains come into service, whilst not sacrificing the reliability, resilience and capacity of current services.

Additionally, as part of the recovery plan, Transport for the North expects TPE to demonstrate clear evidence of better communications to passengers, in real time, at an appropriate local level.

David Hoggarth, Strategic Rail Director for Transport for the North, said: “Passengers in the North of England must have a rail service they can rely on. In the run-up to Christmas last year TPE simply failed to provide what was needed. The operator must now build back trust and deliver what is needed. The new trains are welcome, and the extra capacity they bring is much needed, but service levels must be maintained as they come on stream.”

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