Passenger and Freight Rail Performance 2016-17 Q4 Statistical Release.(ORR)

Passenger and Freight Rail Performance 2016-17 Q4 Statistical Release(Extracts)

Rail passenger performance (Public Performance Measure) in 2016-17 (87.7%) was the lowest annual score recorded since 2005-06. Performance on the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise continued to deteriorate. Govia Thameslink Railway recorded the franchise’s lowest annual performance score since the time series began in 2004-05.

The proportion of trains cancelled or significantly late in 2016-17 (3.8%) was the highest since 2002-03 (3.6%). The London and South East sector recorded its highest CaSL rate (4.8%) since the time series began in 1997-98.

1. Public Performance Measure (PPM)

Quarter 4 Headlines:

  • The lowest National Q4 performance (89.1%) since 2006-07 (88.5%).
  • The lowest London and South East sector Q4 performance (86.7%) since 2003-04 (81.9%).
  • The second highest Regional and Scotland sector Q4 performance (92.6%) since the time series began in 1997-98 (the best was 93.2% recorded in 2011-12).


Public Performance Measure (PPM) is the proportion of trains that arrive at their final destination on time. On time is defined as arriving at the destination within five minutes of the planned timetable for London and South East, Regional and Scotland operators, or within ten minutes for the Long Distance operators. The moving annual average (MAA) reflects the proportion of trains on time in the past 12 months. In Q4, the MAA also represents the PPM for the financial year. A higher score indicates higher performance.

In Q4 of 2016-17, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operated 15% of all services in Great Britain. While the rest of the network experienced a 0.1 pp increase in the Q4 PPM, GTR’s Q4 PPM was 1.3 pp worse in 2016-17 than it was in 2015-16. Furthermore, GTR services were responsible for 49%1 of the decline in the LSE PPM in Q4. That is, GTR services that failed PPM accounted for 0.3 pp of the overall 0.6 pp fall in the quarterly LSE PPM for Q4.

Services in the Regional and Scotland sector recorded a PPM of 92.6% in Q4 of 2016-17. Up 0.6 pp compared with same quarter the previous year, this is the second highest Q4 score recorded since the time series began in 1997-98 (the best was 93.2% recorded in 2011-12). The Long Distance sector recorded a PPM of 89.2% in Q4. This was up 0.8 pp compared with 2015-16 Q4.

All delay minutes on Britain’s railways are attributed to either Network Rail or a train operator. As well as infrastructure and operational delays such as signal failures and overrunning engineering works, delays caused by external factors such as severe weather, vandalism, cable theft and trespass are also attributed to Network Rail. Delays caused by issues with trains or traincrew are attributed to train operators. In 2016-17 Q4, 61.6% of delays to passenger trains were attributed to Network Rail with external factors accounting for 17% of the overall total. Further information on the causes of delay can be found on the Data Portal.

The decline in performance in the LSE sector can be attributed to a number of causes. Delays relating to third rail faults (2,600 PPM failures) increased by 39% and delays due to problems at stations (4,400 PPM failures) were up 41% compared with 2015-16 Q4. There was also an increase in uninvestigated delays2 . These accounted for 10,200 PPM failures3 in 2016-17 Q4 which was up more than 900% compared with the same quarter the previous year.

  •  Annual and quarterly PPM by sector data are available on the Data Portal in Table 3.43

Full ORR report HERE