Figures released by Network Rail reveal that over a third of trains were late in 2014. Many of these trains were on peak commuter services, such as the 7.29am Brighton to London Victoria service operated by Southern trains. For this service, none of the trains reached the capital on time in 2014, while the services immediately before and afterwards had extremely low punctuality scores.
In the 12 months ending on 6 December 2014, just 64.6 per cent of trains reached their destination within 59 seconds of their scheduled arrival; the 59 seconds measure is referred to as ‘right time. As well as Southern Trains, only 45.6% of Grand Central’s trains were on time and only 50.9% of Virgin Trains’ services were on time.
The figures have been released following another wage-busting fare rise of up to 2.5 per cent on 2 January 2015, including significant rises on season tickets for commuter services. Passengers are being asked to pay substantially more of their wages getting to work, while services are increasingly unreliable and overcrowded.
Action for Rail research shows that passengers using the UK’s privatised rail network spend substantially more of their wages getting to work than commuters using state owned railways in France, Italy and Spain. Research also shows that £1.2bn is wasted on privatisation every year. This could be saved under public ownership and fund an 18 per cent cut in fares.
Passenger and taxpayers deserve a far better deal. Action for Rail will continue to campaign for a nationally integrated railway under public ownership.
For the figures from Network Rail, please see here.