New Data Reveals 41% of Trains Run Late in the UK

Photo by Sam B on Unsplash

Some of Britain’s busiest railway stations have the highest percentages of cancelled trains in 2023.

A recent analysis of National Rail data also highlights that 41% of trains across the UK ran at least one minute late.

As of 31 July 2023, Huddersfield has had more than 5,500 scheduled trains cancelled – the highest rate in the country at 13%. TransPennine Express, which manages Huddersfield, was brought under government control in May this year after months of complaints about delays and cancellations from passengers.

The analysis of National Rail data, collated by On Time Trains, shows that, of the one hundred busiest railway stations, Manchester Victoria had the second highest cancellation rate at 10%. York, Newcastle, and Manchester Oxford Road all followed at 9%.

The government said operators needed to deliver punctual services and improve delays and cancellations.

Chris Jackson, interim TransPennine Express managing director, said, since coming under government control: “We have seen improvements in performance and have made real progress in rebuilding union relationships on a local level”.

He added that cancellations at Huddersfield station are down “to 3.5%, with an overall figure of 5.5% for the entire TPE network. We know there is more to do, and we are actively developing plans to deliver the reliable, punctual and resilient railway our customers expect and deserve.”

The analysis of data for 2,555 stations also reveals that between 1 January and 31 July this year:

  • 3% of trains in the UK were cancelled
  • 56% were on time
  • 41% were at least one minute late
  • Stations in Wales had the highest cancellation rate, at 7%
  • In English regions, the Northeast had the highest cancellation rate, at 6%
  • Yorkshire and the Humber had the lowest percentage of trains on time, at 42%

Paul Tuohy, chief executive officer of the charity Campaign for Better Transport, said: “We want people to travel by train so high rates of cancellations are unacceptable.

“The government and industry need to sort this out and ensure services run to schedule so that passengers can travel with confidence.”

Network Rail added: “We know performance has not been good enough for passengers and we’re working closely with train operating companies to improve.

“Moving forward, the creation of Great British Railways will allow us to take a holistic view of performance, simplifying our rail network and providing better, more reliable services for our passengers and freight customers.”