Trying to find data on train performance on the punctuality of train services in this country is a nightmare! If the figures exist they are not easily found, and some of the reports simply focus on the dumbest measures imaginable – was your journey a happy one? Were the services you expected provided, etc., etc.
What about how many express trains arrived within 5 minutes of their booked time.
What % of trains were cancelled this year – by area, by line, by region.
This is an example of what we used to see:
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, these figures were published by the various transport consultative committees – the ORR website, ATOC and Network Rail do not make the data readily available.
If we take the 3 columns for the Eastern Region – this now includes 2 or 3 train operating companies, and the punctuality ‘targets’ are not the same as they were – with limited emphasis on quantitative measures such as 90%+ of trains arriving less than 5 minutes late – as measured in 1980 and 1981.
This chart from the ORR/Transport Focus refers ONLY to the ‘Greater Anglia’ train operating company:
They didn’t even reach the performance level set 30 years earlier – and they operate newer trains and technology.
Does this represent a failure of privatisation – of course it does. One PRIVATE train operator in that region – between 2012 and 2014 received £198.4 million in subsidy to support the network infrastructure and enable trains to be run.
I did a search on the ONS website, with the following criteria: “train punctuality data”, it went on to list CPI (Consumer Price Index) related data, and some stats about NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) – how is that relevant to the enquiry I posted? I got the impression the data being gathered, or the algorithm used to capture and execute the search criteria are manipulated to deliver the most irrelevant data!
And then you discover they have moved them to the “National Archives” website – so you run the same query, and you get this response:
“Sorry, the page you were looking for can’t be found.”