Mind the gap – new figures show a big divide between the proportion of trains ‘officially’ running on time and actual performance.
Network Rail has released data showing how many trains are punctual to the minute, compared with official figures which count a train as on time if it arrives at its destination up to 10 minutes late for inter-city services.
Local trains are allowed to arrive at their destination up to five minutes late.
Although most train companies calling at stations in South Yorkshire officially run around nine trains out of 10 on time, actual punctuality is as low as less than half.
The RMT rail union said the difference between figures was ‘shocking’, showing privatisation is bringing high fares but a poor service.
Network Rail, responsible for maintaining rail infrastructure, accepted responsibility for most delays.
The company said: “Nationally around 60 per cent of delays are attributed to us. As well as infrastructure faults, this figure includes external factors such as weather, trespass, vandalism and cable theft, which account for one third of delays attributed to us.”
The Association of Train Operating Companies said punctuality has improved since privatisation.