Challenging "On Time" target for GTR (Souhern)

GTR have today issued the following statement:-

Last week, the Rail Delivery Group announced that the rail sector is changing the way we report train punctuality and performance. I am writing to let you know what it means for passengers, how we report data and how Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is performing.

From this April, GTR, along with all other train operating companies in England and Wales, will publish a new primary performance metric, called ‘On Time’.

For a train service to be counted as ‘On Time’, it must call at every single station scheduled on its route and its final destination within 59 seconds of the time stated on the timetable.

By contrast, for a service to count under the older measure, the Public Performance Measure (PPM), it must call at every single scheduled station and arrive at its final destination within five minutes of the timetable.
‘On Time’ is undoubtedly a tough measure, especially for some of our services. 59 seconds is not a lot of spare time for a service such as the Thameslink services connecting the 109 miles between Brighton, Central London and Cambridge across the busiest tracks in the UK, but this measure will provide clarity to passengers.

As of March 2019, 72.5% of GTR’s 3,600+ daily services are operating exactly on-time and 87.3% are at PPM. In ‘On Time’ terms, this makes us the sixth best performing of the twenty free franchises in the UK. And we carry twice as many passengers as the other five combined.

It is testament to the sustained improvement in punctuality and reliability across GTR services in recent months. It also shows the very positive role of some of the changes in the timetable in supporting the railway to run more efficiently for passengers. Yet it is also clear room for improvement.

From an operational perspective, ‘On Time’ will help to drive a focus across the sector that every single second counts. It will support us to pinpoint the tiny delays that add up over an individual train service that starts and stops tens of times on long journeys of several hours. And, it will reinforce our efforts to get better information into the hands of passengers. This includes upgrades to station screens, issuing station staff with new smartphones loaded with real-time service information, and volunteer teams from across the business to help passengers during disruption.