Network Rail continues to encounter difficulties in meeting punctuality targets for passengers on long distance services, despite making improvements, according to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).
It yesterday instructed Network Rail to deliver plans agreed with train operators to create better levels of punctuality on long distance services in 2012/13, and speed-up further improvements towards meeting its committed punctuality target of 92% in 2013/14. If the company fails to deliver the 2013/14 target it will face a substantial financial penalty.
The ORR said that the difficulties Network Rail has encountered included problems with timetable planning and predicting and spotting equipment failures.
“Levels of punctuality on long distance rail services across Britain are good by historical standards but passengers should be experiencing even better levels of train performance, benefiting from the punctuality commitments which they and taxpayers have funded Network Rail to deliver,” said ORR chief executive Richard Price.
“We welcome the ORR’s recognition that we, and the train operating companies, have already done much to improve long distance punctuality in this control period – which is currently running at a record level of 89.2% for the past year – and we accept the challenge to deliver an even better service,” said Network Rail chief executive David Higgins.