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Trains getting worse on punctuality

PUNCTUALITY on British railways is worsening, according to a new report from a government regulator.

In the last three months of last year, the Office of Rail and Road found that only 86.3 per cent of services nationwide ran on time — down 1.5 per cent on the same quarter of 2017.

The privateers’ performance was even worse in Scotland and regions outside London and south-east England. The number of trains arriving on time there fell by 3.4 per cent, to 86.2 per cent.

Long-distance trains arrived punctually only 81.3 per cent of the time, down 4 per cent on the previous year.

Only in London and south-east England did private operators manage to stop their already poor punctuality from getting worse, matching last year’s statistic of 86.9 per cent of trains arriving punctually.

Cancellations and “significant lateness” increased in every region.

In the north of England, Midlands and Wales, Arriva North performed worst. Punctuality on Merseyrail, West Midlands Trains, and Transport for Wales trains improved slightly.

But at Northern, punctual arrivals fell to 86.5 per cent — the lowest level since the current methods of recording began in 2009-10.

Transport union RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “These shocking figures will come as no surprise to anyone in the north.

“They are a reflection of the lack of investment that has seen key infrastructure projects scrapped and shelved, while clapped-out Pacer trains still grind along the tracks.

“The only serious solution is public ownership and an end to [Chris] Grayling’s reign of chaos.”

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