National PPM drops below 80%, with GTR still at the bottom of the table
The public performance measure (PPM) of Britain’s rail companies dropped to an unprecedented low of 79.1% in the most recent period, new figures show.
PPM traditionally falls during winter as a consequence of bad weather, but the rate from 13 November to 10 December was lower than 82.6% at the same time last year.
It was also below last year’s total of 89.1%, which was the worst in a decade. The moving annual average for 2016-17 so far is 87.7%.
The single company with the worst PPM was Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), at 61.9%. This was also the company with the biggest drop in PPM since the same point last year, of 11.3 percentage points.
The period included a guards’ strike lasting two days on Southern Rail, which GTR operates. The company has suffered severe disruption all year because of industrial disputes, which finally led to services being completely shut down last week during an Aslef drivers' strike.
Southern is running a revised timetable today and tomorrow because of more guards' strikes, led by RMT.
After GTR, the company with the lowest PPM was Southeastern. Its PPM was at 73.8%, 9.6 points down from the previous year.
GTR was also the company with the highest rate of cancellation and significant lateness (CaSL), at 12.8%, twice its rate in 2015. This was followed by First Hull, with a CaSL of 11.2%.
Approximately a third of GTR’s delays were attributed to the company, 65% to Network Rail and 3% to other operators.
The companies held responsible for the highest proportion of their own delays were Arriva, with 45%, and ScotRail, with 38%.
ScotRail’s PPM remained fairly consistent at 83.7%, but the company has been subject to widespread complaints about delays, with transport minister Hamza Yousaf recently promising £3m of fare discounts to “thank passengers for their patience”.
The figures come after the ORR reported that passenger complaints grew by 13% in the second quarter of 2016-17, with punctuality and reliability the biggest cause of complaints.
A spokesperson for GTR said: "The figures reflect the significant impact that the wholly unjustified industrial action being taken by Aslef and the RMT is having and the on-going additional knock-on delays from the London Bridge redevelopment. There have also been performance issues on Great Northern caused by weather, signal failures in key locations and problems with the ageing trains we have begun to replace on this route. We're sorry - our passengers deserve better and, together with Network Rail, we're working hard to improve performance.”
(Image c. Victoria Jones from PA Wire and PA Images)
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