The rail industry is planning to bring in new punctuality targets that could see firms penalised if trains are more than a minute late, creating what is claimed to be the toughest punctuality measure of any railway in Europe.
The current framework allows trains that are five minutes late – or ten minutes in the case of long distance services – to be classified as on time.
A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents Network Rail and rail operators, confirmed that an ‘industry-led’ initiative would see a tightening of punctuality rules – and therefore a lowering of the threshold at which operators would be penalised.
He said: ‘We want to ensure our passengers have the best information to plan their journeys and to trust what we tell them about train punctuality.
‘We are introducing the toughest punctuality measure of any railway in Europe.’
RDG said it had brought together train operators, Network Rail, the Department for Transport, regulator the Office of Rail and Road, and watchdog Transport Focus to make it happen.
It added that by measuring punctuality to the minute and at every station, the industry would be making Britain’s railway more transparent than any other transport sector about the service passengers can expect.
The group suggested that giving passengers better information would help them choose ‘the best route to take or the best time train to catch’.