Rail ‘blackspots’ identified in new research

Railway “blackspots” have been identified where services frequently fail to run on time.

Passengers using Manchester Oxford Road suffer from the worst punctuality out of all the stations analysed by consumer group Which?.

More than two-thirds (68%) of its trains have been late of cancelled since the beginning of the year, according to the research.

This was even worse at peak times, with more than three-quarters (77%) of trains not departing or arriving as scheduled.

The station is served by Northern, TransPennine Express, East Midlands Trains and Transport for Wales services, to destinations including Liverpool, Newcastle and Norwich.

York station saw the second worst performance out of those ranked, with 65% of trains departing or arriving late, or cancelled.

Joint third on the list was Birmingham New Street and Gatwick Airport stations, where 60% fail to run to schedule.

The study analysed data from website On Time Trains to reveal the proportion of trains which were at least one minute late or cancelled from the 10 busiest stations in London and the 20 busiest stations outside London since the start of 2018.

Last month the Government commissioned a review of Britain’s railways which will consider all parts of the network, including accountability, the franchising system and value for money.

New timetables introduced in May saw widespread disruption to services in the south-east and north of England.

Which? managing director of public markets Alex Hayman said: “Passengers have told us reliability is hugely important to them. People have been left deeply frustrated at the unacceptably high levels of delays and cancellations which impact on their everyday lives.

“Passengers must be at the centre of the forthcoming Government rail review, it must look at performance targets to drive improvements in punctuality and reliability for passengers.

“The review must not be used as an excuse to delay real action to improve passengers’ experiences on the trains today. As a first step, the Government must introduce fully automatic compensation, ensuring more passengers get the money they are owed.”

– Here are the stations included in the report, with the proportion of trains delayed or cancelled:

Outside London:
1. Manchester Oxford Road 68%
2. York 65%
3.= Gatwick Airport 60%
3.= Birmingham New Street 60%
5. Bristol Temple Meads 58%
6. Manchester Picadilly 56%
7. Sheffield 54%
8. Manchester Victoria 51%
9. Woking 50%
10. Liverpool Central 49%
11. Liverpool Lime Street 47%
12. Reading 46%
13.= Cambridge 45%
13.= Leeds 45%
15. Guildford 43%
16. Edinburgh 42%
17. Cardiff Central 40%
18. Glasgow Queen Street 39%
19. Glasgow Central 34%
20. Brighton 26%

Inside London:
1. Clapham Junction 54%
2. London King’s Cross 45%
3. London Victoria 44%
4. Stratford (London) 41%
5. London Bridge 40%
6. London Waterloo 39%
7. London Paddington 38%
8. London Euston 33%
9. London Liverpool Street 32%
10. London St Pancras (Intl) 30%