FGW 'is UK's least punctual' rail operator
Press Association: 27 03 08
Figures show under-fire train operator FGW has the least punctual service in Britain.
First Great Western, which runs services to Reading, Bristol, South Wales and the West Country, had just 79.7% of trains turning up on time during the last three months of 2007.
The data, released by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), shows FGW lagged more than 15% behind Chiltern Railways, the top rated operator for punctuality with 95.6% of their trains arriving on time.
‘Great Western branded worst rail service in Britain’
South Wales Echo: Mar 28 2008
UNDER-FIRE train operator First Great Western has the LEAST punctual service in Britain, it was revealed today.
Branded “Worst Great Western” by some passengers, the operator, which runs services throughout South Wales, had just 79.7 per cent of trains turning up on time during the last three months of 2007.
The data, released by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), shows FGW lagged more than 15 per cent behind Chiltern Railways, the top rated operator for punctuality with 95.6 per cent of their trains arriving on time.
Today, passengers at Cardiff Central Station slammed the figures.
Ann Powell, 51, a support worker from Canton, Cardiff, said: “A couple of weeks ago I had to wait three quarters of an hour at a station when I was on my way back to Cardiff. I think the service should be more reliable considering the cost.”
Brendan Doherty, 28, from Tremorfa, Cardiff, who works in finance, and travels to Bristol Parkway every weekday, said: “The London service is quite good but when they get it wrong they get it very wrong. They are good at telling you it will only be a 10-minute delay when it is much longer.”
In January passengers were hit by above-inflation price hikes across the network although FGW’s poor performance prompted fare strikes by some consumers.
Michael Lee, the ORR’s director of access planning and performance, said: “If targets for this route are not met in the near future, then the consequences for Network Rail could be severe. I do not propose, at this stage, to look into whether Network Rail is in breach of its licence – but all parties should be clear that this is an option that may be open in the future.”
A spokesman for FGW said: “FGW has accepted that it has not provided the service levels its customers deserve and we have put in place an improvement plan that has been agreed with the Department for Transport. We are already seeing improved performance and this includes our latest Public Performance Measure figures and cancellation rates – we need to do better to deliver consistently across the FGW Network for all our customers.”
Topsy turvy rail report
Oxford Mail: 28 03 08
By William Crossley
Oxfordshire rail services are at the top and bottom of the league for punctuality, according to the latest official figures.
Chiltern Railways, which links Banbury and Bicester with London Marylebone and Birmingham, is top of the table, with 95.6 per cent of its trains on time in the last three months of 2007, said the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).
But bringing up the rear is First Great Western (FGW), which links the county with London Paddington, the West of England and South Wales, which ran just 79.7 per cent of trains on time.
FGW's service was recently branded "unacceptable" by ministers.
The ORR is currently overseeing a joint performance improvement plan - developed by track and signal operator Network Rail and FGW - aimed at improving performance on the route and on Wednesday warned Network Rail that it could face severe consequences if it did not cut the amount of delays on the FGW network that it was responsible for.
A spokesman for FGW said: "FGW has accepted that it has not provided the service levels its customers deserve and we have put in place an improvement plan that has been agreed with the Department for Transport.
"We are already seeing improved performance and this includes our latest Public Performance Measure figures and cancellation rates - we need to do better to deliver consistently across the FGW Network for all our customers, but we are moving in the right direction."
CrossCountry Trains, which serves Oxford and Banbury, ran 86.9 per cent of services on time during the survey period, exactly matching the overall on time performance of the country's passenger train operators.
The franchise was taken over by Arriva from Virgin last November.