Waiting for a train only to find out it has been delayed is not one of the finer things in life let’s face it, but will new fines that are set to be implemented in a few years time if trains are even just one minute late improve our UK rail networks?
Currently, should a long distance train be up to ten minutes late or a commuter train be up to 5 minutes late it is still technically classed as being on time, but rail bosses have now confirmed that these current rules could be scrapped and replaced with a fresh system that will give trains just 59 seconds leeway get to the station.
The statistics show that in the past year alone 89% of trains arrived on time within the current set of rules, however only 64% would have been within the newly proposed set of guidelines allowing just one minute on top of the scheduled train time. The new rules will mean that train operators who are not operating within the strict guidelines will either face fines or have their funding docked, as well as Network Rail also potentially facing penalties if they fail to make sure train arrivals are on time, with the poor performing companies also set to be named in official figures.
Paul Plummer, who is the Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, has said, “We want our passengers to know that every minute counts, which is why we’re leading work to bring together train operators, Network Rail, passenger groups and the Government to improve how train punctuality is measured. We want to ensure our passengers have the best information to plan their journey and that they trust what we tell them about train punctuality.”
The hopes are that the new changes will be implemented from April 2019, just in time for the start of Network Rail’s new five year government funding block. So in a few years time we could see significant differences when it comes to train punctuality, with train companies likely to be under pressure to provide the most efficient service possible.