London Midland punctuality well below average in March

London Midland
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Embattled rail operator London Midland posted well below-average punctuality figures in March, with overhead line problems blamed for its poor performance.

The operator ran 85.7 per cent of trains on time last month, 5.7 per cent below the national average of 91.4 per cent, and one of only six companies to fall below 90 per cent.

Rail regulators have been particularly concerned with the performance of London Midland, which has offered travellers compensation for delays caused by staff shortages.

The poorest-performing company was East Coast which was hit by an overhead line problem at Newark in Nottinghamshire and other infrastructure faults during the month. It was only able to run 82.8 per cent of trains on time.

The best-performing company last month was the London to Tilbury and Southend operator c2c which ran 97.2 per cent of trains on time.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, said: “Ministers and National Rail must seriously look at their plans to cut spending on rail maintenance by up to 19 per cent over the next five years in the light of these terrible punctuality figures.”

A spokesman for the Association of Train Operating Companies said: “These figures show that, on average, more than nine out of 10 trains are arriving without delay.

“Train companies know how important it is for passengers that trains arrive on time and will further improve services by working closely with the rest of the industry.”

An Office of Rail Regulation spokesman said: “While we acknowledge the difficulties caused by extreme weather and the efforts of staff across the industry to cope with these conditions, many of the problems that hindered performance in England and Wales were due to asset failures.”