Hull Trains respond as 'disproportionate' figures say it was worst in country for pre-Christmas cancelled and delayed services
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 3 Jan 2018
Hull Trains has criticised figures showing it had a higher percentage of journeys cancelled or delayed compared to any other UK operator in the five weeks before Christmas.
Figures attributed to The Sunday Times show that the company, which runs direct services from Hull to London, had 72.5 per cent of its trains delayed or cancelled between November 19 and December 23 2017.
It comes as commuters were told on Tuesday average rail prices were being hiked in the biggest fare rise in five years. Hull Trains own fares have been increased by 2.5 per cent, below the national average.
The company said the figures were "disproportionate" as they ran fewer trains than other operators.
A spokeswoman for Hull Trains said: "The league table figures are not representative of Hull Trains' comparative performance for two reasons:
"Firstly, as one of the smaller operators, any delay is disproportionate to our numbers.
READ MORE: Hull Trains wins award for customer service
"So if we lose one service when we are only running 14 services - this looks like a much larger 'loss' / higher percentage than it does if a much larger operator loses one service etc. This is one of the reasons why Hull Trains is advocating that smaller operators shouldn't be compared within the same league as the larger operators.
"Many other operators will cancel a service, rather than running it as a delayed service so that this does not affect their figures. Our aim is always to put customers first and to grow through customer satisfaction.
"Therefore we will always run delayed service rather than cancel it. Even though our performance figures (PPM) would be better if we cancelled services rather than run them late. However, if facing delays, we will run short shuttles from Hull to Doncaster to connect people to the main line, even though this affects PPM.
"Finally - fewer than six per cent of our delays are down to us."
Virgin Trains followed a close second with 69 per cent failing to arrive on time during the same period, while TransPennine Express, who run services from Hull to Leeds and Manchester, were the third worst offenders.
Northern Rail, who ferry passengers from Hull west to Doncaster and north to Bridlington also saw more than half of their services disrupted, but they fared better than 10 of the 15 operators in the table.
Commenting on the hike in train fares, Hull Trains also insisted it will continue to maintain a "best-value" position with its "essential" increase of 2.5 per cent lower than the national average.
A spokeswoman for the operator said: "For the past four years, we have topped the NRPS league for overall customer satisfaction with similarly high scores for value for money and the overall conditions of the train.
"Our ethos is to focus fully on serving the needs of our customers, generating growth through exceptional customer service and investing in new services and innovations that further enhance the customer experience."