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Grand Central suffers biggest PPM decrease in period 13

Grand Central had the biggest public performance measure (PPM) decrease this month compared to last year, latest figures from Network Rail show.

Grand Central’s PPM for 6 March to 31 March (period 13) 2016 was 84.2%, compared to 91.6% at the same point last year.

However, only 11% of Grand Central delays were judged to be the TOC’s fault, and 67% were attributable to Network Rail. Despite the negative performance figures, Grand Central received the highest passenger satisfaction rating in a recent Which? survey.

The other train operating companies (TOCs) with the biggest PPM decline were c2c (from 98% to 93.8%), Virgin East Coast (from 90% to 87%) and Virgin West Coast (from 86.1% to 83.3%).

 PPM March crop 635960570708177881

In last month’s PPM figures, Grand Central had a decline from 93.4% to 84.2% and the other companies with the biggest decline were Virgin East Coast, Southeastern and First Hull.

RTM reported earlier in the year that during period 11 the non-franchised sector saw a sharp decline in performance, with Grand Central and First Hull Trains PPM figures dropping. At the time, a Grand Central spokesperson said a number of temporary speed restrictions had affected PPM in period 11.

In period 13 a number of companies saw PPM improvements. For instance, Crosscountry increased from 88.4% to 91.4%, Chiltern from 95.6% to 96%, First Hull from 86% to 88%, Heathrow Express from 92.8% to 94.4%, London Midland from 88.5% to 90.4%, London Overground from 94.3% to 95.1%, Merseyrail from 96.9% to 97% and ScotRail from 91.7% to 92.6%.

Overall, national PPM is now 90.5%, compared to 91.2% last year, with a moving annual average of 89.1%.

The companies with the greatest proportion of journeys ending in cancellation and significant lateness were Virgin West Coast (7.7%), Virgin East Coast (6.1% ) Grand Central (5.8%) and First TransPennine Express (5.7%).

13 April UPDATE

A Grand Central spokesperson said: “We were naturally disappointed that PPM punctuality failed target in this period.

“PPM met or exceeded target on 14 out of 28 days within the period, with 100% PPM achieved on 5 days. PPM stood  at 90% at the end of week 2, but was eroded during Week 3 where target was only achieved on one day and most PPM failures were due to reactionary delay from relatively minor incidents. This left nothing to absorb the impact of two bad days in Week 4: 38.9% on 28 March due to dewirement at St Neots and 44.4% on 29 March due to fatality at Sandy.

“We continue to work closely with Network Rail and other operators to strengthen the  focus on service recovery and train regulation.”

(Image c. Maarten Otto)


Noam Bleicher   13/04/2016 at 08:38

The PPM system is easy to massage, as it only works on arrival time at your destination. Just build in another 5-10 mins into the public timetable at your final call, and hey-presto, your PPM goes up. It is particularly unrelated to the customer experience on Cross Country, where the vast majority of passengers don't travel to the final call. That XC are near the bottom despite this fix shows the hammering they get from regulation of the network as they pass through congested areas like BHM where local services are dominant.

Mel W   15/04/2016 at 13:29

PPM delays can be logged mid journey between reporting points even if on time at end, its not solely if you were late at the end, the DAG manual is a good read!

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