East coast delay dribble
21 November 2013
Up to Leeds and back twice in two weeks. First journey: on the way up signal problems around Peterborough and a bridge bash at Grantham (not the railway's fault), so we were 15 minutes late. Slightly vague reasons for 15 minutes delay on the way back (we ‘lost’ minutes here and there). Other passengers who joined at Peterborough had already been delayed from Ipswich. Second journey: 50 minutes late back due to signalling problems around Newark Northgate and later at Knebworth. Network Rail and the train companies have work to do here. Information about the delays was quite good, but it made a long day even longer.
I cannot pretend my experiences are representative. While longer distance passengers are probably a bit more forgiving of delays, as our research shows, these types of fairly regular problems will eventually erode confidence. Already our National Passenger Survey scores for punctuality are dipping for some train companies. Let’s hope the autumn wave of our survey, due to be published in January 2014, will show an improvement.