Network Rail failing to deliver plan to recover long distance rail performance
5 September 2012
The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has today published its quarterly report showing that Network Rail is failing to deliver its plans to improve punctuality on long distance rail services.
Network Rail’s plans to ensure improvements, which were accepted by the regulator three months ago, followed a warning to the company to deliver better levels of punctuality for passengers on long distance train services or face a substantial penalty. But ORR’s analysis of Network Rail’s performance between 1 April – 21 July 2012 shows that while performance is improving for most long distance operators, there are serious problems affecting some services. At the end of this quarter, 88.9% of long distance trains arrived at their final destination within ten minutes of the advertised time – 2.2 percentage points below where punctuality should have been at this point in the year, and 0.4 percentage points below that set out in Network Rail’s recovery plan.
ORR has requested that Network Rail quickly identifies what has gone wrong and explain how it will recover the position for 2012-13. When this has been completed, the rail regulator will consider what further action to take. However, if the company fails to deliver the 2013-14 target it will face a substantial financial penalty. The size of any financial penalty will reflect the extent of Network Rail’s failure to meet the commitment, increasing by £1.5 million per 0.1 percentage point it drops below the 92% punctuality target.
The Network Rail Monitor, which also highlights ORR’s assessment of punctuality on London and South East sectors, and the regulator’s overview of Network Rail’s stewardship of the railway infrastructure, can be read at: http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/nav.293