Train cancellations hit record high with Avanti West Coast the worst operator

Train reliability in Britain reached the worst level on record after another month of disruption (Luciana Guerra/PA) (PA Wire)
Train reliability in Britain reached the worst level on record after another month of disruption (Luciana Guerra/PA) (PA Wire)

Train reliability in Britain reached the worst level on record after another month of disruption.

The industry’s cancellations score during the 12 months to October 15 was 3.8%, according to Office of Rail and Road data.

That was the poorest reliability in records dating back to 2015.

The figures do not include trains removed from timetables before 10pm on the previous night, which is what happens ahead of strike days.

Cancellations scores reflect the percentage of services that are either fully or part-cancelled.

Each part-cancellation is counted as half a full cancellation.

The score for all services in the latest available four-week period of data from September 18 to October 15 was 3.1%.

The worst individual operator for the 12 months to October 15 was Avanti West Coast, with its highest ever score of 7.7%.

It was affected by short-notice cancellations due to drivers refusing to volunteer for overtime shifts, and has introduced a reduced timetable.

The Department for Transport gave the company until April 1 next year to improve its services when it issued a short-term contract extension last month.

Govia Thameslink Railway – which consists of Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express – had the second poorest reliability in the past 12 months, with a score of 6.4%.

This was followed by TransPennine Express (5.3%) and West Midlands Trains (4.8%).

Norman Baker of pressure group Campaign for Better Transport said: “We want people to travel by train so cancellations on this scale are unacceptable.

“The Government and industry need to sort this out and ensure services run to schedule so that passengers can travel with confidence.”