government to change punctuality rules

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bailey65

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukn...-rail-punctuality-rules-being-considered.html
The government are looking at how tocs measure punctuality at the moment they get some leeway when declaring a service on time if new more precise timekeeping conditions are brought in a lot of tocs with 9 out of 10 trains classed as arriving on time will have a much poorer record especially companies like first great western and cross country.
 
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HSTEd

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What will this achieve but cause lengthened timetabled journey times at the next timetable change as more and more padding is added?
 

tbtc

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A spokesman for Passenger Focus, the consumer watchdog, also called for new rules.
“Passengers want their trains actually on time, not up to five or 10 minutes late

Well, yes, don't we all...

...but in the real world, what does anyone think will change? If a service scheduled to take an hour is classed as "late" only if it lasts over sixty five minutes, then the new rules will presumably, erm, encourage the operator to pad another five minutes into the journey time so that the trip now has a duration of sixty five minutes.

You're not going to suddenly find TOCs having punctuality figures of 30% (and paying millions in compensation), they'll fudge things so that the change in bureaucracy has no real affect upon passengers (or profits etc).

(not intended as criticism of the OP, just saying that I don't think this will be more than a change in how the bean counters count things)
 

aformeruser

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Well, yes, don't we all...

...but in the real world, what does anyone think will change? If a service scheduled to take an hour is classed as "late" only if it lasts over sixty five minutes, then the new rules will presumably, erm, encourage the operator to pad another five minutes into the journey time so that the trip now has a duration of sixty five minutes.

Some services have too much punctuality padding at present and when they are not delayed it results in them sitting outside stations for a few minutes waiting for an available platform.

ORR defines a maximum number of minutes a service is allowed to take but it's usually fairly generous e.g. 89 minutes allowed for a service that's possible to do in 80 minutes.
 

Failed Unit

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I guess I would just like to see it recorded late at all stations. I have missed connections because a train is 10 minutes late a Newark but only 9 by Kings Cross. Likewise an ontime train is no help to passengers that have been left on platforms as the train has ran non-stop to ensure it is recorded as "on-time"

York - kings cross non-stop have some mega padding, so the can take a stop north of Doncaster station (for the Leeds service to pass ahead) and getting stuck behind a frieght train and still arrive early!
 

Greenback

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I guess I would just like to see it recorded late at all stations. I have missed connections because a train is 10 minutes late a Newark but only 9 by Kings Cross. Likewise an ontime train is no help to passengers that have been left on platforms as the train has ran non-stop to ensure it is recorded as "on-time"

This is my feeling too. Otherwise, as has been said, we run the risk of even more additional padding inserted at the end of journeys in order to meet the targets.

Of course, the TOC's could put padding in between every station stop instead!

I think that whatever system is used to measure punctuality, there will be a wy for it to be manipulated.
 

tbtc

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Some services have too much punctuality padding at present and when they are not delayed it results in them sitting outside stations for a few minutes waiting for an available platform.

ORR defines a maximum number of minutes a service is allowed to take but it's usually fairly generous e.g. 89 minutes allowed for a service that's possible to do in 80 minutes.

This is only going to get worse if the rules change though.

My favourite current example being the ATW service which arrives in Llandudno in the evening with the same unit forming a service out of Llandudno. Trouble is, the arrival has so much padding in it that it's timetabled to arrive after it departed.

I honestly have no problem in *some* leeway given, esp on longer distance services, in the way that many foods/drinks have a tolerance on size/volume. But really, this is just about bureaucracy and won't make a difference to our journeys.
 

Bald Rick

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Likewise an ontime train is no help to passengers that have been left on platforms as the train has ran non-stop to ensure it is recorded as "on-time"

Trains that Fail to Stop at any of their booked station calls are counted as a PPM failure, regardless of their punctuality. As are all cancellations (in full or part).

I wish I could plan any journey up the M6 from London to Lancashire with an arrival predicted to within 10 mins. And then get half my petrol money back if it was more than 30 mins late.
 

Failed Unit

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Trains that Fail to Stop at any of their booked station calls are counted as a PPM failure, regardless of their punctuality. As are all cancellations (in full or part).

I wish I could plan any journey up the M6 from London to Lancashire with an arrival predicted to within 10 mins. And then get half my petrol money back if it was more than 30 mins late.

Yep, but equally you 10 minute delay on the M6 doesn't turn into a real 1 hour plus delay because of missed connection. ;) joking aside I agree even with the padding rail journeys are more reliable than road. Even with the amount of we are running this train fast we get, broken down cars / bad parking etc causing chaos is much more frequent.
 

Schnellzug

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Trains that Fail to Stop at any of their booked station calls are counted as a PPM failure, regardless of their punctuality. As are all cancellations (in full or part).

I wish I could plan any journey up the M6 from London to Lancashire with an arrival predicted to within 10 mins. And then get half my petrol money back if it was more than 30 mins late.

that's exactly it. We, and people in general, get so obssessed with saving 3 minutes here and there and complaining loudly & bitterly if 3 minutes are added to a journey or a Train is 3 minutes late, but it's the only form of Transport that does time things so precisely. If you were going to drive to Leeds and you were leaving at 10 and someone asked when you'd get there, you wouldn't say "scheduled arrival time is 12:07", would you. You'd say "about twelvish", and if you got there by quarter past you'd think you'd done ok. I do sometimes wonder if the Railways spend money altogether wisely by getting so obssessed about cutting four minutes here and there at a cost of several billion.
 

Greenback

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It's modern life that everyone is in a hurry and wants things done as fast as possible. Really, though, if I am doing a journey like Llanelli to Newcastle or Leeds, I only think in terms of a rough arrival time. Usually, I will be going on to a hotel in any case, so if the train is scheduled to arrive at 1632, I will normally think in terms of actually getting to room at 'around 1715' (or whatever,d epedning on where the hotel is).

If, in the end, the train is delayed by 30 mins, I miss a connection or I get stuck in traffic in my taxi and don't arrive until 1800, it doesn't matter too much.

However, as a daily commuter, I see many people stressing themselves out over a few minutes delay, usually because they are worried about being late for work. Of course, a six minute delay on a twenty minute journey is quite a high percentage!
 

Wath Yard

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I wish I could plan any journey up the M6 from London to Lancashire with an arrival predicted to within 10 mins. And then get half my petrol money back if it was more than 30 mins late.

That argument is completely flawed. The roads are a free for all, the railway isn't. It is planned and timetabled to the nearest 30 seconds. If you had to book a slot on the M6 then it may be a more reasonable comparison. It would also be a better argument if we were charged cost price to travel on the railway, but we're not.
 

Sir_Clagalot

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The TOCs might want to insert more padding but it's NR who do the pathing... and if they say that adding x amount of padding will reduce the capacity of said line they they probably won't allow it
 

The Planner

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At last, someone who understands we don't just shove minutes in at every opportunity because we feel like it. "Padding" is such a misnomer, minutes are not added into a schedule to make it arrive later, a TOC will ask for a public differential at the end of the journey to blag their figures but that has NO bearing on the WTT times. As Sir Clagalot has said, we will not add time into schedules unless there is a completely valid reason to do so.
 

All Line Rover

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The amount of padding on ATW services between Shrewsbury and Manchester is ridiculous. The train usually hangs around at Crewe for 10 minutes, and even after that you can often get the 10:11 TPE connection to Scarborough when the arrival of the ATW service is supposed to be 10:15! :roll: It does NOT take almost 20 minutes to travel from Stockport to Manchester Piccadilly!!

Isn't it strange how a Class 158 can travel from Stockport to Manchester in less time than a Class 175 or even a Pendolino? If ATW added any further padding the train would be timetabled to take half an hour to travel from Stockport to Manchester. Seriously!? I'd like to see them implement that! :roll:
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
At last, someone who understands we don't just shove minutes in at every opportunity because we feel like it. "Padding" is such a misnomer, minutes are not added into a schedule to make it arrive later, a TOC will ask for a public differential at the end of the journey to blag their figures but that has NO bearing on the WTT times. As Sir Clagalot has said, we will not add time into schedules unless there is a completely valid reason to do so.

I can accept that (the 10 minute wait at Crewe is probably due to pathing problems), but if the train is known to arrive 5 minutes early almost all of the time, why don't ATW make the arrival time 5 minutes earlier?

It's like Virgin with their xx:04 arrivals from Manchester, which are non-stop between Crewe and Euston. They almost always arrive before the hour. Why not make them an xx:00 arrival?
 
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tbtc

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if the train is known to arrive 5 minutes early almost all of the time, why don't ATW make the arrival time 5 minutes earlier?

It's like Virgin with their xx:04 arrivals from Manchester, which are non-stop between Crewe and Euston. They almost always arrive before the hour. Why not make them an xx:00 arrival?

...because then they'd leave themselves liable to spend a lot (more) money on missed connections and compensation when the train arrives at the current time its scheduled to...

...whereas the five minutes padding presumably doesn't discourage *that* many people (or a lot fewer than they'd have to compensate for a missed connection like Shrewsbury - Hull due to late running arrival at Manchester Piccadilly.

All the threads in the "fares" section about a TOC's obligation to compensate for delays (inc those on two advanced tickets etc), the hotels, the taxis, the other services being "held"... it all has to be paid for somehow.
 

Bald Rick

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That argument is completely flawed. The roads are a free for all, the railway isn't. It is planned and timetabled to the nearest 30 seconds. If you had to book a slot on the M6 then it may be a more reasonable comparison. It would also be a better argument if we were charged cost price to travel on the railway, but we're not.

It wasn't an argument, it was a wish!

My argument, if it is one, is about how our expectations differ between different modes of transport.

For example airlines treat 'on time' as being within 15 mins of time, managed 80% last year, and that is in a system planned to the minute with considerably more recovery time in schedules and more capability to catch up time than the railways. Yet we don't see Stormin' Norman discussing with CAA what to do about airline punctuality.

I'm not saying what's right or wrong, just identifying the differences in expectation.
 

Greenback

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It wasn't an argument, it was a wish!

My argument, if it is one, is about how our expectations differ between different modes of transport.

For example airlines treat 'on time' as being within 15 mins of time, managed 80% last year, and that is in a system planned to the minute with considerably more recovery time in schedules and more capability to catch up time than the railways. Yet we don't see Stormin' Norman discussing with CAA what to do about airline punctuality.

I'm not saying what's right or wrong, just identifying the differences in expectation.

I think you are quite right about differing expectations. But as Wath Yard says, this is because railway services are timetabled. The argument is really, I think, that travellers should not expect a long distance train to be punctual to the minute. There are an awful lot of factors that can affect a service that travels hundreds of miles across many different junctions, and maybe single line sections.

Is it reasonable to expect a long distance train to be spot on time even if you are using it for a short joureny? I remember many complaints at Reading when FGW ran a HST from Fishguard Harbour that connected from the ferry. Passengers seemed to have difficulty realising that the train had come up from West Wales, and had not been laid on just to get them into London!
 

Failed Unit

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At last, someone who understands we don't just shove minutes in at every opportunity because we feel like it. "Padding" is such a misnomer, minutes are not added into a schedule to make it arrive later, a TOC will ask for a public differential at the end of the journey to blag their figures but that has NO bearing on the WTT times. As Sir Clagalot has said, we will not add time into schedules unless there is a completely valid reason to do so.

I understand that, but is it the public or the working timetable the ppm is taken from?
 

D1009

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I believe XC have removed most of their public differentials. One of the reasons their PPM figure is so high is that they run regular interval services over very long distances which have to fit into other TOCs services, and getting a decent path for them is a nightmare.
 

87015

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I understand that, but is it the public or the working timetable the ppm is taken from?

Public. PPM figures just make a mockery of the paying punters.

LOROL and there much improved figures 'within five minutes' actually now have mandated that all STP trains or anything perceived to be 'at risk' is to have +5 differential in the public time so can actually arrive 9m59s late and make PPM 'on time'. Not to mention the slack running times with extra minutes and extended dwells left, right and centre in the LTP...
 

Ivo

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My favourite current example being the ATW service which arrives in Llandudno in the evening with the same unit forming a service out of Llandudno. Trouble is, the arrival has so much padding in it that it's timetabled to arrive after it departed.

Do a search on NRE for Hereford to Birmingham on a typical weekday early afternoon. It will tell you to change at University because the through service has so much padding at the Birmingham end that the Cross City service (six minutes behind at University) supposedly overtakes it!
 

tbtc

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Do a search on NRE for Hereford to Birmingham on a typical weekday early afternoon. It will tell you to change at University because the through service has so much padding at the Birmingham end that the Cross City service (six minutes behind at University) supposedly overtakes it!

I hadn't heard of that one! :oops:

I wonder whether, if John Major's "Citizens Charter" hadn't made an issue of this, we'd spend so much time/money beating ourselves up over punctuality?

It's a bit like the way that the BBC encourages people to complain about it, then puts on programmes where people chastise the BBC for things - it just invites negative stories about trains - it must cost a few quid too - it seems a little too masochistic for my tastes...
 

Failed Unit

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When I was a lad......

Connections were held, non of this mainline arrives 7 minutes late so as they open the doors the branch line services leaves. Since they stopped that practice people prefer to drive to the mainline. I can't remember how long they would wait, but I do remember sitting at Lincoln for a connection from Birmingham for about 20 minutes, and a lot of grateful passengers join.

Now we get the we can't hold the connection as it isn't fair on the passengers further down the line. Even if the majority come off the mainline. I think a lot of people prefer delayed connections to the desire for on-time running. Espcally when if the connection was held it would recover the lost time anyway.
 

TEW

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Connections are still held though, I don't much experience elsewhere but I know FGW are very good at holding connections normally, not just when it's the last train of the day either. It's not just for late running FGW trains either, connections are also held from XC trains. On FGW I know it will often come down to the number of people who want a connection with TMs on late running trains doing passengers counts so control know whether it is best to hold a connection or use taxis.
 

The Planner

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Do a search on NRE for Hereford to Birmingham on a typical weekday early afternoon. It will tell you to change at University because the through service has so much padding at the Birmingham end that the Cross City service (six minutes behind at University) supposedly overtakes it!

Can we clarify what "padding" actually is please. If adding a public timetable differential at the end of a journey at a TOCs request is padding then so be it, but in terms of a WTT then it just isn't there...
 

lemonic

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Do a search on NRE for Hereford to Birmingham on a typical weekday early afternoon. It will tell you to change at University because the through service has so much padding at the Birmingham end that the Cross City service (six minutes behind at University) supposedly overtakes it!

You are quite right. I travelled Birmingham-Hereford return just last week and I looked at the train times on OpenTrainTimes before hand. There was 5 or 6 minutes padding i.e. differential between the WTT and the PTT in both directions at the terminus.
 

WatcherZero

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Surely then its better to go the bus company route and have multiple routing points for timing rather than it all being at the end. Instead of adding time simply lower the calculated average journey speed slightly so theres more wiggle room to make it up by running closer to maximum line speed. Thats what they do on the continent at least, schedule speeds much lower than the train is capable of.
 

The Planner

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Knackers capacity to do that as it affects the WTT, chucking minutes at the PTT makes little difference to the working.
 
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