New train punctuality measures – Transport Focus comment

Commenting on the Rail Delivery Group’s announcement on new train punctuality measures Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

“Passengers want a reliable, on-time train service. How that performance is measured and reported should, our research shows, mirror passengers’ real-life experience to help build passenger trust.

“Train timetables need to be a work of fact, not fiction. So, it is good to see train operators reporting true on time performance to the minute at every station.

“Transport Focus has tirelessly campaigned for greater transparency in how train punctuality is measured; this is a positive step for passengers.”

Background
More information on passengers’ views can be found in Transport Focus’s research “Train punctuality: the passenger perspective.

The research found:

  • passengers expect ‘on time’ to mean a train arriving within one minute of the scheduled time, not the current industry standard of five minutes (or 10 minutes for long-distance trains)
  • there is low awareness of the current performance measures and a lack of trust in how the rail industry measures train punctuality
  • for every minute of lateness, that is, after scheduled arrival time, overall passenger satisfaction declines by one and a half percentage points. Among commuters the decline in overall satisfaction is steeper at three percentage points per minute of lateness.
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