Rail services improve but are still not good enough - MP

Huntingdon railway station. Picture: ARCHANT

Huntingdon railway station. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Performance by train operator Govia Thameslink Rail (GTR) is heading in the right direction, Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly has said - but services are still nowhere near where they should be.

St Neots railway station.

St Neots railway station. - Credit: Archant

Latest figures from GTR, which provides rail services at Huntingdon and St Neots, show an improvement in quality since an interim timetable was introduced.

The move followed weeks of rail chaos in which passengers complained about hundreds of trains being cancelled, running late and replaced by buses, after a total replacement of the timetable was introduced in May.

About three-quarters of trains were now running on time, GTR said.

But Mr Djanogly said: “Clearly the statistics show that Govia’s performance is heading in the right direction but we are nowhere near where we ought to be and I shall be staying on the case.”

GTR said that in the first two weeks of July just over 59 per cent of its Thameslink trains met the public performance measure, the percentage of all trains arriving within five minutes of their booked time, but for the last two weeks of the month it had gone up to just over 76 per cent.

On Great Northern the figures rose from more than 62 per cent to about 78 per cent and the combined figures moved from more than 60 per cent and had gone up to nearly 77 per cent.

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GTR said: “We are running around 200 more services per day across the network compared to the period before the May changeover, providing extra journey options.

“We will continue our focus on improving the performance of the service in the coming weeks and, looking ahead, we will start restoring the remaining May services to the timetable as soon as practicably possible.”

GTR said: “Overall, the train service has been more stable and reliable with almost 77 per cent of Thameslink and Great Northern services arriving on time, compared with 61 per cent in the previous two weeks.”

It said there had been problems not related to the timetable during the period, including a tree falling on overhead power at St Albans, a signal failure a failure of overhead power lines at Cambridge and track defects.