Records broken as more trains on time

Published on: Monday, 8 July 2019
Last updated: Monday, 8 July 2019

New punctuality records have been broken as Greater Anglia has recorded a third month in a row when over 93 per cent of trains were on time.

Since launching a joint Greater Anglia and Network Rail “Every Second Counts” performance campaign in December, average punctuality has been 90 per cent or higher for five months and in June it reached over 93 per cent on average and much higher on individual routes.

For the first time since the Public Performance Measure metric started 20 years ago, punctuality on the Great Eastern Main Line, between Ipswich, Colchester, Harwich, Clacton and Southend to London, has been over 94 per cent for four successive months at 94.8, 95.8, 95.5 and 95.8 per cent in March, April, May and June this year.

Punctuality on the Southend line has also been over 94 per cent for the last four months at 94.3, 95.2, 95.6 and 95.8 in March, April, May and June this year.

The highest punctuality since May 2013 was recorded on the Intercity route between Norwich and London, at just under 94.78 per cent.

On the West Anglia route between Cambridge and London Liverpool Street, punctuality improved again in June to 92.7 per cent, making it two months in a row above 92 per cent.

The top five routes with the most trains on time were London-Harwich, 98.5 per cent, Marks Tey-Sudbury, 98 per cent, London-Southend/Southminster 95.8 per cent, London-Colchester/Clacton/Walton-on-the-Naze 95.5 per cent and London-Ipswich/Norwich 94.6 per cent.

Other routes where more than nine trains out of ten ran on time were Norwich-Sheringham and Ipswich-Lowestoft-Felixstowe and Kings Lynn-London Liverpool Street.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We know that the number one thing that customers want from us is that their train runs on time, so I am very pleased that we’re doing that for the vast majority of our customers.

“We can’t get complacent – we want to make sure that our trains are consistently on time and so we’ll continue to monitor and review our performance second by second to see what we can do better.

“Unfortunately, there will always be factors beyond our control which cause delays, as we have seen in recent weeks, but we need to get better and better at recovering from those situations and getting people back on the move.”

Meliha Duymaz, route managing director at Network Rail Anglia said: “For the third month in a row, punctuality has been over 93 per cent across Anglia which follows the four previous months of better than target performance and that result is a testament to everyone’s hard work.

“We recognise that, despite this improving performance, when there is disruption we need to work hard to get trains running again as quickly as possible and we acknowledge we need to improve the accuracy and speed of information given to passengers.

“It's great to see improving performance, but we know that we need to continue to work with Greater Anglia to seek better ways to improve reliability and train punctuality for our passengers to make journeys better for everyone into the future.”

The Every Second Counts Campaign sees Greater Anglia and Network Rail holding regular “performance summits” to look at problems causing delays and analyse how to overcome them.

Joint improvement plans have been drawn up and a more proactive recovery policy established for dealing with delays caused by broken down trains.

Actions from Network Rail include a £10 million booster fund for initiatives specifically to improve performance, maintenance work on problem areas and removal of long-standing speed restrictions.