Rail passenger complaints soared in the North during timetable chaos, official figures show

Rail passenger complaints soared in the North during the chaos caused by new timetables, figures show.

Northern suffered an increase in the rate of complaints of 63 per cent and TransPennine Express (TPE) a 21 per cent rise between April and June, compared with the same period last year, Office of Rail and Road (ORR) data shows.

Complaints about train services have increased

Complaints about train services have increased

Northern had services crippled on many routes when new timetables were introduced on May 20, with the number of daily trains cancelled reaching 310.

There was also a knock-on effect which caused widespread problems for TPE.

The timetable changes were intended to deliver huge benefits to passengers as a result of major upgrades to the network.

The ORR, which is investigating the chaos, published an interim report last month that warned of a "lack of clarity about roles and responsibilities" and said "nobody took charge".

Northern and TPE were among 13 train operators that had their complaints rate rise between April and June.

Other firms to suffer an increase include London and North Eastern Railway (up seven per cent), Govia Thameslink (up 23 per cent), CrossCountry (up 40 per cent), Great Western Railway (up 80 per cent) and Heathrow Express (up 60 per cent).

The average rate of complaints across all operators was 29.9 per cent per 100,000 journeys, representing a 6.6 per cent year-on-year increase.

The most common complaint category was punctuality/reliability at 22 per cent of all complaints, up 1.3 percentage points compared with the same period last year.