Manchester rail commuters hit by enduring delays

Manchester rail commuters hit by enduring delays

Greater Manchester commuters are still enduring more delayed and cancelled trains than passengers in the busiest transport hubs around Britain after last year’s chaos on the rail network, new Which? research reveals.

In a 12-month comparison of some of the busiest commuter hubs around Britain the consumer champion found passengers using Greater Manchester stations had to endure more unreliable trains in every single month of the year at peak times.

In the last year, more than two thirds (68 per cent) of Greater Manchester peak services – in and out of Piccadilly (66 per cent), Victoria (48 per cent), Manchester Airport (60 per cent), Oxford Road (80 per cent), Bolton (73 per cent), Stockport (72 per cent) and Wigan (62 per cent) – arrived or departed at least one minute late or were cancelled.

This compares to around half (51 per cent) of services on average for Britain’s other busiest commuter hubs in London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds and Edinburgh.

Passengers at four London stations saw just under half (48 per cent) of services late or cancelled, Leeds had six in ten (58 per cent) and Birmingham New Street two-thirds (68 per cent), while in Edinburgh just over half of services (51 per cent) were late or cancelled and in Glasgow two in five (42 per cent) were affected.

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That poor performance in Greater Manchester is partly explained by May’s timetable chaos and the punctuality problems that followed in November, but in January Manchester passengers were still being hit by up to 28 per cent more delayed and cancelled trains than the average for commuters using the other transport hubs in the analysis.

Passengers travelling to and from Manchester Oxford Road saw almost eight in ten (78 per cent) of trains failing to arrive or leave on time in January 2019.

This was followed by Stockport at seven in ten (71 per cent), Bolton at two thirds (68 per cent) and Manchester Piccadilly at around two thirds (64 per cent).

Alex Hayman, Which? managing director of public markets, said: “Thousands of rail passengers are being hit by unacceptable levels of disruption – and those in Manchester seem to be getting a particularly raw deal.

“For these people the daily commute has become a daily torment.”