Train fares go up – but punctuality goes down

Train companies imposing some of the biggest fare rises in the new year had some of the worst punctuality figures in the autumn.

The Southeastern company, where some season tickets are increasing by nearly 13 per cent in January, ran 83.3 per cent of trains on time from mid-October to mid-November 2010 – a 4.8 per cent dip on last year.

And the figures for the Southern rail company, where some season tickets are going up nearly 7.7 per cent, slipped 6.6 per cent to 83.1 per cent.

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From Network Rail (NR), the figures that showed that punctuality over the entire network for the period October 17 to November 13 this year was 86.3 per cent – a 4 per cent drop on the 90.3 per cent figure for the same period in 2009.

Only one of the 19 passenger train companies had better trains-on-time figures for this mid-autumn than last year.

This was London Overground, which achieved a nationwide-best figure of 94.5%, compared with 92.7% for the same period last year.

The poorest-performing company this mid-autumn was Northern Rail which saw its trains-on-time figure dip 5.6% to 81.8%.

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Ten of the companies had punctuality figures falling by 3.5% or more this mid-autumn compared with the same period last year.

NR operations and customer services director Robin Gisby said: "The railway has made great strides in reducing the impact of the autumn weather over the past decade, but the start of this year's (autumn) has been difficult, resulting in disappointing train punctuality.

"The industry has invested heavily, some 30 million, in technology and techniques targeted at lessening the impact of autumn. We aim to deliver much better performance in the weeks ahead."