Train punctuality rules to be toughened up
One thing that defies everyone's opinion on the British train service is that, for the most part, it is thoroughly rubbish. Trains are overprices, overcrowded and usually late.
So, again, ministers are going to look at our beleaguered railways in an attempt to tighten the whole thing up (invariably making it even worse). One thing that offers vague hope is that long-standing regulations which allow trains to run late are going to be re-examined.
The way things are at the moment, a train can arrive five minutes late (ten minutes late for long-distance journeys), but still be considered 'on time'. This leeway is now looking like its going to be cut.
“Punctuality is very much on my radar and I have been examining this for a number of weeks,” said Norman Baker, the rail minister. “As a Coalition Government we should be determined to drive up performance on the railways. Nothing is off the table.”
A spokesman for Passenger Focus, the consumer watchdog, also called for new rules. "To drive passenger satisfaction higher, the industry should focus on running trains to the timetable – not just at the final destination, but at intermediate stations too. Longer term, the industry needs to move towards a system which reports to passengers whether trains are arriving on time, rather than within five or 10 minutes.”
Of course, this does nothing for the other problems that passengers face, such as cramped carriages and tickets going up by as much as 11 per cent.