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Train delays at their worst in almost a decade

More than one in 10 trains failed to arrive on time

If your train is delayed by 30 minutes or more, you could be entitled to compensation

Punctuality on Britain’s railways has fallen to its worst level in almost a decade, according to new figures revealed by the rail regulator.

More than one in every 10 trains (11%) failed to arrive at its destination on time in the 12 months to the end of March.

This is the worst performance since 2006-07, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) regulator said.

We’ve created guides you can use to learn about your rights in the event of train delays and cancellations and claim compensation.

Fewer trains on time

Trains only fail the industry’s punctuality measure if they are at least 10 minutes late for long-distance services and five minutes late for commuter trains.

Separate figures also reveal that 3.1% of trains were cancelled or at least 30 minutes late over the same period – many of these delays cross the threshold that entitles passengers to delay compensation.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) – which is responsible for Thameslink, Southern and Gatwick Express services – had the worst punctuality over the past year with just 81.5% of trains on time.

This was followed by Virgin Trains East Coast and the Caledonian Sleeper. Punctuality in London and the South East fell to 87.8% over the past year.

The ORR said delays due to track faults (such as broken rails) in this region had increased by 37%, while disruption as a result of issues with train crews rose by 24%.

Delays caused by severe weather events tripled, the regulator added.

Make rail refunds easier

In separate research carried out earlier this year, Which? found that only 34% of passengers who may have been entitled to a refund said they actually claimed.

The rail regulator’s investigation found that the situation was much worse, with 80% of passengers not claiming.

We’re calling on the regulator to keep the pressure on train companies to ensure passengers get the refunds they deserve for rail delays – sign our petition to make rail refunds easier.

Which? Director of Policy and Campaigns Alex Neil said: ‘With delays at their worst level for almost a decade and millions of passengers not getting the compensation they are owed, the writing is on the wall for train companies. 

‘They must do more to improve poor service and give better information to passengers. Following the regulator’s call for action after our super-complaint, we now need the government to bring forward new passenger rights and give the rail regulator the powers it needs to hold train operators to account.’

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