Rail companies have promised the most transparent punctuality measure of any railway in Europe with arrival times measured to the minute.
However the move does not change the time at which compensation is paid out, usually after a 30 minute delay.
Under the current official public performance measure (PPM), short distance trains are considered ‘on time’ if they are up to five minutes late – or 10 minutes for long distance trains. Overall, 89.0% of trains arrived at their destination within five or 10 minutes of the scheduled time.
Source: Rail Delivery Group
The Rail Delivery Group will report on rail times to the minute and also plans to measure punctuality at every station on the timetable rather than only at the final destination, although current technology only allows this for 80% of all station stops.
The RDG has published statistics using the new measure, which showed that between 28 May and 24 June, 64.8% of trains arrived at station stops to the minute and 91.7% of trains arrived within 5 minutes.
Paul Plummer chief executive of the RDG, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said: ‘By adopting the most transparent measure in Europe, we want passengers to know that rail companies are putting an even greater focus on ensuring that trains are meeting the timetable, arriving to the minute and at stations along a journey.’
The new measure was developed with the independent watchdog, Transport Focus.
Its chief executive, Anthony Smith, said: ‘Passengers want a reliable, on-time train service. How that performance is measured and reported should, our research shows, closely mirror passengers real life experience otherwise trust will not be built up. So, it is good to see the rail industry reporting on time performance at many more stations.’
According to the Citizens Advice passengers are legally entitled to compensation of 50% of your ticket price if you get to your destination between 30 minutes and an hour late a full refund if you arrive more than one hour late.
Some train companies will also give you compensation if your train is more than 15 minutes late.
Ministers were recently questioned in Parliament on the Conservative manifesto pledge to introduce a passenger ombudsman for the rail sector for rail ticketing and pricing.
Transport minister Paul Maynard revealed: 'I have been leading discussions with industry and consumer bodies about introducing a rail ombudsman that would improve the passenger voice in rail and provide independent binding resolution of complaints.
'Work on the detail of the scheme, which is being developed by a Task Force which includes the Rail Delivery Group, Transport Focus, London TravelWatch and the Office of Rail and Road, is progressing, and I anticipate being in a position to provide a further update on its work by the end of the summer.'