More than 1,000 unreported cancellations by TPE in a month

New figures have revealed that TransPennine Express’ official train cancellation figures masked the true position, with an additional 1,360 trains ‘pre-cancelled’ (of which 312 were part-cancelled) during the four-week period to February 11 (period 11), owing to train crew shortages. These cancellations were not previously reported in official figures.

It follows a letter from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to operators on January 19, telling them to provide data on ‘pre-cancellations’ - known as ‘P-coding’ (RAIL 976). 

These are trains that are cancelled the day before, so do not show as ‘cancelled’ on station displays and real-time feeds. Instead, the trains are simply not shown.

Because P-coded trains are excluded from the industry’s delay attribution process, it also means they do not appear in official cancellation statistics.

In the case of the worst offenders, it means that FirstGroup-owned TransPennine Express cancelled 23.7% of its trains, compared with the 8.9% it originally reported (excluding P-coded). Arriva-owned Grand Central cancelled 15.8%, compared with its originally reported 5.9%.

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  • Steffan - 24/02/2023 13:44

    I wonder what the greens will make of this? Continual calls for better public transport are all well and good, but the best, most up to date network and rolling stock is useless without train crews! No wonder peole are still commuting by car

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  • Güntürk Üstün - 25/02/2023 23:19

    A spokesperson for TransPennine Express apologised and said the cancellations in question were caused by "high levels of sickness and a training backlog". Labour's shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh said Transpennine's service had "never been worse". She asked for the franchise to be taken over by the Department for Transport when the train company's contract was up for renewal in May. Rail Minister Huw Merriman said if the service "can't be turned round then decisions will be made". Dr. Güntürk Üstün

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  • Richard Crompton - 26/02/2023 12:41

    What on earth is the fuss about. In the old days, you know, five years ago, the railway companies had a timetable in place for one year but sometimes for six months. The timetable is the railway company's offer and the public is invited to purchase travel on that basis. Surely the number of concellations is the number of trains scheduled minus the number of trains that actually run.

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