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Which? reveals millions of hours UK rail passengers lose to delays

Which? reveals millions of hours UK rail passengers lose to delays

UK rail passengers lost almost four million hours to significantly delayed train journeys in 2018 – making it the worst year since records have been held, according to Which? research.

The staggering level of delays – 3,928,560 hours in total – relates to 8.1 million passenger journeys and meant around 80 trains per day were significantly delayed.

A “significant” delay was considered to be one of 30 minutes or more.

A lamentable year for delays was matched by the results for cancellations, which averaged 660 per day (241,934 in total) in 2018 – also the highest number since comparable records began in 2011.

The consumer champion’s findings come as the rail industry rolls out its latest summer timetable.


The new schedule aims to introduce 1,000 extra services per week across the country and comes 12 months on from last year’s disastrous timetable chaos.

Two franchises, Govia Thameslink Railway and Transpennine Express (out of a total of 14 analysed by Which?) accounted for more than a third (37 per cent) of all cancelled trains in 2018 (89,178 cancellations).

These train companies also recorded the highest cancellation rates as a proportion of their own services, with one in ten services on Transpennine Express cancelled last year and seven per cent of GTR’s trains.

LNER (which was Virgin East Coast up until June last year) and Virgin West Coast had the highest significant delay rates of their planned services, at five and three per cent respectively.

Northern accounted for 12 per cent of all significantly late trains and 14 per cent of all cancellations in 2018.