From this month, local passengers will be able to find out if train services run on time to within a minute, under plans to make more detailed punctuality information available for the first time. Up to now, performance data released publicly has only shown how many trains arrive within five or ten minutes of their scheduled time. However, with the new information available for the South East and London a much clearer picture will be painted on how punctual local train services are.
Local MP Norman Baker, as Lib Dem Transport Minister, announced the good news on behalf of the government in a Statement to Parliament, saying a new level of transparency within the rail industry was being ushered in to allow passengers to hold train companies to account and ultimately drive a better service.
So earlier this month the office for Rail Regulation published the first batch of figures for the years 2001/02 to 2011/12. It shows that punctuality has improved significantly in the South East over the last decade, with 70.3% of trains in the London and the South East arriving within 59 seconds of when they are supposed to, which compares favourably to elsewhere in Europe. Under Labour only 44.4% of trains in London and the South East arrived on time in 2001/02.
Norman says: "Under the old system, a train could be nearly ten minutes late and not even show up in the yearly figures as being delayed, despite the fact that I think most passengers would certainly consider this late. What the new system will do is give a far more accurate picture of the punctuality. I think that most people are relatively satisfied if a train arrives within 59 seconds of its scheduled time, and by publishing figures on this basis it will create greater transparency and ultimately hold train operators to greater account.
"I think this is a pretty good performance by the rail industry. How many car journeys or air trips can have their arrival time predicted within one minute?"
|Sector||London and South East||44.4%||45.8%||47.8%||55.0%||61.1%||63.3%||66.8%||68.3%||69.3%||69.8%||70.3%|
|Regional (including Scotland)||50.8%||53.1%||55.6%||54.6%||57.4%||62.0%||66.0%||68.5%||72.3%||71.0%||71.0%|
Contact Norman at:
23 East Street,
Tel: (01273) 480281.
Fax: (01273) 480287.