Rail fares are set to rise at a time when more than one in 10 trains on a key rail route through Yorkshire is running significantly late.
The rises come as only 88% of trains travelling along the North TransPennine route – which calls at Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Hull and Middlesborough – arrive at their final destination ‘within 10 minutes’ of the scheduled time.
Those figures are considerably worse than the South TransPennine route, which serves Sheffield, Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Cleethorpes, where 96% of trains arrive ‘on time’. The monthly figures – the latest available online – were recorded during May and June this year.
Department of Transport figures show TransPennine’s overall punctuality has dropped in the last year from an average of 91.9% trains arriving ‘on time’ to 89.6%.
Responsibility for delays on TransPennine’s three regional routes during the last year, which total 477,132 minutes are shared as follows.
TransPennine are responsible for train and station delays, Network Rail for track issues. ‘Other delays’ are often caused by issues involving other trains.
777 services have been cancelled during the last 12 months, which works out at around 15 a week or 2 a day.
The frustrations of commuters come at a bad time for FirstGroup and Keolis, who operate the TransPennine franchise together. It was today announced Stagecoach will compete with the existing firms for the TransPennine franchise, which is set to be re-let from 2016.
More than 500 people have sent the Department of Transport letters demanding a better rail service in the north. Pressure group ‘Right Track North’, who are spearheading the campaign for improvements, want the government to improve the standard and lower the price of the region’s trains.
A statement on their website says “Improving journey times and reliability will attract more people to use the trains and cut costs by making better use of trains. Alongside the new franchises, the government should invest in rail infrastructure in the north of England to bring down journey times including a rolling programme of electrification.”
Flat Cap News contacted TransPennine Express to get an explanation for their recent performance, however we have yet to receive a response. Their Passenger’s Charter is available here.
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Image: A TransPennine Express train travelling through Yorkshire (Ryan Taylor/Flickr).