More than four out of ten of trains calling at Edinburgh’s main railway station are cancelled or delayed by more than one minute, according to a wide-ranging report into the performance of Britain’s train services.
Since the beginning of this year, just 58 per cent of trains calling at Edinburgh Waverley have been on time or early, according to the study – the first of its kind – by Which? It also called for fully automatic compensation to be rolled out for all passengers facing disruption.
A total of 39 per cent and 34 per cent of trains from Glasgow Queen Street and Glasgow Central respectively were also delayed or cancelled.
The consumer champion analysed rail network data to find the commuter hubs which were worst hit by delays and cancellations and revealed the train companies with the poorest punctuality records at those stations.
Services to and from Scottish stations were among the best performing on the list of the UK’s busiest rail stations.
However, just 41 per cent of the 14,511 journeys by London North Eastern Railway (LNER), which operates on the east coast mainline through Edinburgh Waverley, were on time, followed closely by CrossCountry, with 43 per cent of journeys through Edinburgh on time. LNER took over east coast mainline services from Virgin East Coast on 24 June.
In Glasgow, the worst performing rail provider was Northern, which completed just 53 per cent of its 481 journeys through Glasgow Central on time.
The consumer group warned that delays of even just a few minutes can have a knock-on effect on other services on the network, and passengers’ onward journeys.
Alex Hayman, Which? managing director of public markets, said: “Passengers have told us reliability is hugely important to them.
“People have been left deeply frustrated at the unacceptably high levels of delays and cancellations which impact on their everyday lives.
“Passengers must be at the centre of the forthcoming government rail review; it must look at performance targets to drive improvements in punctuality and reliability for passengers.”
Mr Hayman added: “As a first step, the government must introduce fully automatic compensation, ensuring more passengers get the money they are owed.”
Which? also said that despite the huge number of delays since the beginning of the year outlined by this research, the number of delayed journeys that passengers could be eligible to claim compensation for was remarkably low, as not all delays and cancellations were the fault of train operating companies.