For the first time the Government is also publishing figures that show to the minute how trains perform.
The figures show just under 70 per cent of trains are on time. Until now a train could be up to five or in some cases even ten minutes late before it was included in the figures. That will still be the benchmark for the industry but the Government says it also wants people to know how trains run to the minute. At the moment commuter services are allowed five minutes grace and longer distance trains ten minutes. The move was announced by Transport Minister Norman Baker this morning.
Norman Baker said: "I want passengers to be given clear and simple information on the punctuality of their train services. The Coalition Government wants rail travel to be more transparent and that’s why we have worked closely together with the rail industry to ensure these statistics will be published.
“This is good news for passengers, as 69.8% of trains on the network are arriving within 59 seconds of when they are supposed to – and 91.6% are meeting the Public Performance Measure target. This compares very favourably with elsewhere in Europe and across other modes. I will be urging all train operators to go that extra mile and push these figures up even higher."
But rail unions said the latest figures on train punctuality were worrying and said railways needed to be renationalised.
– Bob Crowe, general secretary, RMT
If the Government and the private train operators get their way and slash staffing and investment under the terms of the McNulty Rail Review then even these worrying performance figures would take an all-out battering.
With the increase in passenger demand, the case for renationalisation of the railways to stop the leakage of billions of pounds of private profits and subsidies is overwhelming.
We urgently need more capacity to deal with demand and to improve performance and an end to the corporate welfare doled out by the taxpayer to the private train operators would free up the investment so desperately needed on the basis of these figures."
Theresa Villiers, Transport Minister, said providing more information on the punctuality of services was part of wider commitment to increasing transparency across government and gave the public more information about the reliability of trains.
The new information is being published at rail industry sector level from today – for London and South East services, for Long Distance services, and for Regional and Scottish services. More detailed data will be available by October.