Late arrival: is the 07:29 Brighton to London Victoria Britain’s worst train?
Commuters have forced Southern rail to admit that its service managed to arrive on time just once in 2014. But, according to official punctuality standards, it might not be as bad as all that
So, how late was your train? The 07.29 Brighton to London Victoria service has made headlines as the worst in Britain, after managing to roll in at its scheduled time of 8.35am on only a single occasion in the last year. It may be little consolation to those trundling slowly through Sussex to know their train may not be the absolute worst: neither Network Rail, the Department for Transport or the rail regulator have those figures to hand. It was left to angry commuters to ask train operator Southern to research and confirm the anecdotal suspicion that this particular service never actually ran to schedule, which, to their credit, they did.
According to the official standard, though, the 07.29 slowcoach was only late 73% of the time. That is because punctuality, for commuter services, is officially defined as up to 4 minutes and 59 seconds behind time. On long distance services, there’s an extra five minutes leeway. Compensation is normally only paid for delays six times the lateness threshold, at a minimum of 20% of the fare for an hour’s delay, though you get 50% back for 30-minute wait on Southern.
Source: Guardian Transport