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Train delays: Four in ten services late during first half of year amid strikes

Travellers wait for their trains at Liverpool Street station   (PA Archive)
Travellers wait for their trains at Liverpool Street station (PA Archive)

New figures have revealed that in the first half of the year, more than two out of five train services in Britain were delayed.

According to the BBC analysis of industry data collated by the website On Time Trains, 41 per cent of services in that period were at least one minute late, while a further 3 per cent were cancelled. Overall, only 56 per cent were on time.

Stations in Wales were found to have the highest cancellations rate between January and July, at 7 per cent.

Across English regions, the highest figure was in the North East, with 6 per cent.

Of Britain’s 100 busiest stations, Huddersfield had the highest rate of cancellations with 13 per cent, as more than 5,500 trains due to serve the station were axed.

This was followed by Manchester Victoria with 10 per cent, while York, Newcastle and Manchester Oxford Road all had the joint third-highest figure at 9 per cent.

Services have improved since this ended on June 15, after the operation of trains was nationalised on May 28.

Paul Tuohy, of the pressure group Campaign for Better Transport, said: “We want people to travel by train so high rates of cancellations are unacceptable.

“The Government and industry need to sort this out and ensure services run to schedule so that passengers can travel with confidence.”

Reliability of services across Britain has been affected by a series of issues, including infrastructure failures and strikes by staff.

The most recent train strike happened over the weekend, with widespread disruption being caused by the members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) as 14 train operating companies walked out and drivers in the Aslef union refused to work overtime shifts.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “Ministers have been clear with operators they need to deliver punctual services, keeping delays to a minimum.

“To help make our railways more reliable, it’s crucial unions agree to reforms that will modernise the industry.”