Latest Rail News

13.09.18

Backlash at rail boss Richard Branson as he says lateness ‘annoys’ him

Rail passengers took to Twitter to express anger at Virgin Trains boss Richard Branson, who tweeted: “There’s very little that annoys me in life, but people turning up late really does.”

Reactions immediately flooded in, ranging from tongue-in-cheek remarks to outright outbursts of anger. One person sarcastically replied: “Wow. You should run a national rail service.”


According to the ORR, in the last quarter of 2017-18, Virgin West Coast saw 1,154 of its trains cancelled and had a public performance measure (PPM) of 81.7%. Virgin Trains East Coast, which has now been scrapped, saw 620 services cancelled and had a PPM of just 73.8% – 12.3 percentage points lower compared to the same period the year before. Similarly, its punctuality average across the entire year was its worst since 2004-05.

“PPM failures attributed to Virgin Trains East Coast increased by 122% in Q4 of 2017-18 compared with Q4 in 2016-17. This was mainly due to an increase of 80% in PPM failures attributed to fleet delays,” the regulator’s report explained.

Adam Parson, from Sky News, tweeted a barrage of stats on Virgin Trains punctuality: “About 60% of Virgin Trains are late. 16% arrive more than 10 minutes late. 3% are half an hour late. 2-3% are cancelled.”

The link in Branson’s tweet goes to a blog post on his website, in which he talks more about the importance of punctuality and how being on time is a show of respect for other people’s time.

“I do everything possible to get there on time,” he wrote, telling anecdotes of him running through New York and London to make meetings when he realised he wouldn’t make it in time by car.

Top image: David Davies

 

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