TransPennine Express Worst for Train Cancellations

Rail operator TransPennine Express cancelled around one in six of its train in the four weeks to the end of March, figures from the regulator show.

The cancellation rate leapt from 5.8% to 17% when trains cancelled up to 10pm the night before due to staff shortages were included. This was the highest in the country, but down on the 23.8% cancellation rate in the previous period to 4 March.

The troubled rail company is due to have its contract renewed next month, but the government has said no decision has been taken on the operator’s future.

The North of England and Scotland rail company has been criticised following months of poor performance and reduced timetables.

The operator has struggled to deliver all its planned services amid staff shortages it has blamed on staff sickness and a training backlog, and amid poor industrial relations.

The Labour Party, regional mayors and some MPs have said TransPennine Express’s (TPE) contract should not be renewed.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said on Wednesday the current level of service had been “unacceptable”, and if he thought TPE was not capable of improving, “no option is off the table”.

He told the Transport Select Committee he had to make a decision that was “legally defensible” by examining all of the evidence about the service and the “capacity of the company to improve those services”.

In January, TPE’s managing director admitted to the BBC services had not been good enough, and said the company had a recovery plan to do better.

You might also like