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Weather blamed as Network Rail misses punctuality target

Extreme weather and congestion caused Network Rail to miss its punctuality targets last year, it has confirmed.

The rail infrastructure operator said in its annual report this morning that nine in 10 services ran to time in 2013/14.

This was below the 92.5% target it was set by the Office of Rail Regulation.

“While some of this shortfall was caused by congestion as the railway witnessed growth of 5.7% in passenger journeys during the year, extreme weather and slower improvements in asset reliability also played a part,” said Network Rail.

The report showed a record £6.9bn was spent on improving and expanding the rail network in 2013/14.

Equivalent to almost £20M a day, this investment includded new stations, platforms, lifts, information systems, concourses, footbridges and track.

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: “We are in the middle of a rail renaissance, with record levels of passenger numbers and record levels of investment. This flourishing sector is investing heavily to improve the railway for today and for tomorrow.

“With a million more trains on the network than 10 years ago, there are inevitable challenges – we are determined to do more to improve train reliability in the face of these challenges.” 

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