Home Business News 25,545,581 minutes stolen: The great British train delays

25,545,581 minutes stolen: The great British train delays

by LLB staff reporter
25th Apr 24 8:19 am

A new study has revealed Britain’s least reliable train operators, with Avanti West Coast taking the top spot.

Travel deal site Tripplo, analysed data from the Office of Rail and Road between January 2021 and September 2023, to find the percentage of train journeys that were either cancelled or delayed by 15 minutes or more from different rail operators.

Coming out top was Avanti West Coast, who were found to have a massive 15.36% of their trains cancelled or delayed – working out to just over one in six trains not arriving when expected. These delays amounted to a mind-blowing 1,289,833 minutes of delays, or in other words, passengers using the operator lost a total of 895 days of journey time because of delays.

In second place, with 12.32% of all trains either cancelled or seriously late, is Grand Central Rail. Travellers using Grand Central Rail’s services lost a total of 114,069 minutes due to delays, the equivalent to 79 days of travel.

Third place goes to CrossCountry, which saw 12.26% of trains arriving 15 minutes or more late or were cancelled altogether. Passengers using CrossCountry services lost a total of 1,087,863 minutes due to delays, with 20% of those delays occurring in Q3 of 2023 alone.

In fourth place is the newest operator on the list, Lumo. Despite Lumo’s inaugural service commencing on 25 October 2021, the operator still saw 11.46% of all trains arriving seriously late or being cancelled during the time period analysed. Despite being, the smallest operator on the list and only calling at five stations, passengers using Lumo’s services still lost 78,544 minutes (or 54 full days) due to delays.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) takes the fifth spot on the list, seeing 10.43% of all trains being either cancelled or seriously late. Passengers using LNER services lost a total of 771,744 minutes to delays – equal to 535 days’ worth of travel lost.

The remainder of the top ten features Caledonian Sleeper in sixth place, with 9.42% of all trains being cancelled or seriously late, while TransPennine Express, places seventh at 9.29%.

The remainder of the top ten features Transport for Wales (TfW) in eighth (7.44%), Govia Thameslink Railway at ninth (7.12%) and Hull Trains at tenth (6.7%)

Interestingly, Greater Anglia was found to be the country’s most reliable operator, with just 2.2% of their trains being cancelled or delayed by 15 minutes or more. Greater Anglia still saw 764,799 minutes’ worth of delays in their network, however, amounting to 531 full days of travel lost.

A total of 25,545,581 minutes were lost due to delays across every operator over the time period analysed. This works out to a staggering 48.6 calendar years’ worth of time lost due to train delays.

According to the Office of Rail and Road, the percentage of recorded station stops arriving ‘on time’ (early or less than one minute after the scheduled time) in Great Britain was just 62.2% in the latest quarter (1 October to 31 December 2023).

Axel Hernborg, founder of Tripplo, commented on the findings, said, “The findings offer a glimpse into the state of the nation’s rail services. Across the nation, there’s a noticeable variation in performance, with some operators, such as Avanti West Coast, consistently underperforming.

“This variability in findings perhaps highlights the complexity of maintaining a cohesive rail network while emphasising the necessity for ongoing evaluation, strategic planning, and investment to bolster reliability standards and enhance the overall passenger experience.”

“It’s no secret that the UK’s rail network is a far shout from those within mainland Europe in terms of efficiency and reliability, and these findings simply underscore that.”

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