In Brief

The UK’s ten worst train stations for delays

Less than one-third of services arrive and depart on time at some busy stations

Manchester is the UK’s rail delay capital, according to a new survey, which placed all three of the city's main stations among the least punctual in the country.

A report by consumer watchdog Which? looked at arrival and departure data for 30 of the UK’s busiest train stations, including ten in London.

The survey found that the UK’s least punctual station was Manchester Oxford Road, where fewer than one in three trains arrived and departed at their scheduled times. An average of 68% of services were late or cancelled altogether at the station in 2018, rising to 77% during peak hours.

“All three of Manchester's main city centre railway stations make the top ten list for worst punctuality,” says the Manchester Evening News, noting that the Northern franchise was “badly affected” by timetable changes in May.

York came in second, followed by busy transport hubs Birmingham New Street and Gatwick Airport.

Clapham Junction, the UK’s busiest railway station, was the worst performer in the capital. More than half of all services stopping at the station were late or cancelled.

Alex Hayman, managing director for public markets at Which?, said the report revealed “unacceptably high levels of delays and cancellations” on the UK’s train network and called for an upcoming government review of rail services to focus on improving reliability.

In addition, “the organisation is demanding fully automatic compensation for passengers whose trains are significantly delayed”, says The Independent.

If you’re getting a train from these stations, you might be wise to book an earlier ticket:

1. Manchester Oxford Road (68% of services delayed or cancelled)

2. York (65%)

3.= Gatwick Airport (60%)

3.= Birmingham New Street (60%)

5. Bristol Temple Meads (58%)

6. Manchester Piccadilly (56%)

7.= Sheffield (54%)

7.= Clapham Junction (54%)

9. Manchester Victoria (51%)

10. Woking (50%)

Although the figures may seem damning, it should be noted that the watchdog’s methodology used a more stringent definition of lateness than the industry standard.

The Which? survey counted trains as late if they arrived or departed one minute or more behind schedule. However, the “public performance measure” (PPM) used by Network Rail “counts commuter or regional trains as being on time if they arrive up to five minutes late, and longer-distance trains if they are no more than 10 minutes behind schedule”, says The Independent.

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