A train coming off the tracks at Sheffield caused nearly 92 hours of delays

Yorkshire saw widespread disruption during the May timetable chaos.
Yorkshire saw widespread disruption during the May timetable chaos.
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More than one in every 25 trains was cancelled or severely delayed over the 12 months to January, figures by a transport watchdog have shown.

The figure - 4.6 per cent of all services run by franchised operators - covers the period where a timetable change wrought havoc on rail services across the North.

And according to the Office of Rail and Road the proportion of severely delayed or cancelled trains is at its highest level since 2001 – affecting about one in 22 services in the final three months of last year.

Trains are considered severely delayed if they do not arrive at its final destination within 30 minutes of schedule.

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Hull Trains had the highest proportion of cancelled or severely delayed services in the period with 12.1 per cent, compared with 1.9 per cent of services on top performer Chiltern during the same time period.

Northern saw 4.3 per cent of its services cancelled or severely late over 12 months, up from 2.2 per cent a year earlier, while overall punctuality was at its lowest level since 2009-10.

Among the incidents causing delays was a derailment in Sheffield, which led to 5,500 minutes of delays - nearly 92 hours - to all operators across the network. And a power supply failure near Newtonle-Willows resulted in 9,300 minutes of delays.

Train punctuality is also on the slide nationwide, with 83.6 per cent of services recorded as arriving within five minutes of their schedule or 10 minutes for long-distance operators in the last quarter, compared with 84.6 per cent in the same period in 2017/18.

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This means it is at its lowest point since the third quarter of 2005-06 when the figure stood at 81.7 per cent.

Following the chaotic launch of a new timetable last May, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Northern cancelled up to 470 and 310 trains respectively each day.

Train companies, government-owned infrastructure company Network Rail and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling were all blamed by various parties for the problems.

Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, said: “These figures are an indictment of the failing privatised railway under Chris Grayling’s stewardship.”

Robert Nisbet, regional director at the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train companies and Network Rail, said: “We know how important it is that trains run on time and we are truly sorry when this does not happen.

“The recent timetable change in December has improved reliability but Britain’s railway is one of the busiest in Europe, so train companies and Network Rail are working together to deliver record investment that will ease congestion and boost reliability.”

A Northern spokesman said: "The results are disappointing but not surprising when we look at the challenges Northern has faced, including delayed and overrunning engineering work across the North West and challenging autumn conditions.

'These have affected our ability to deliver the level of service customers expect and deserve and we are very sorry."