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Rail operator Thameslink's punctuality 'worst for six years'

PUBLISHED: 11:40 25 November 2016 | UPDATED: 11:57 25 November 2016

A Thameslink train (Photo: Thameslink)

A Thameslink train (Photo: Thameslink)

Archant

Thameslink's parent company is the same franchise that owns Southern Rail

A rail operator that serves Bromley stations has had its worst period for punctuality in at least six years.

In the four weeks to November 12, only 63.3 per cent of Thameslink trains arrived within five minutes of their scheduled time, according to Network Rail data.

Analysis by the Press Association revealed this was the operator’s poorest performance for any four-week period in publicly available records, which date back to April 2010.

Almost one in five (18.7 per cent) Thameslink trains were cancelled or significantly late during the period - another new low.

Thameslink, which is owned by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), operates services throughout London.

GTR also owns Southern Rail, which has endured months of disruption caused by strikes over the role of conductors on its trains.

A spokesman for Thameslink said its punctuality was affected by a number of incidents including major damage to overhead wires in Luton.

He said: “Quite simply, these figures reflect the catastrophic signal failure at Luton that cancelled all trains across central London and stopped most of our services north of St Pancras for the best part of three days.

“This and a track fire at Blackfriars, engineering overrun at West Hampstead, vandalism at Wivelsfield and the man who took off his shirt and jumped down on to the tracks at Norwood, delayed or cancelled a huge number of trains.

“We apologise, acknowledging that our passengers deserve better, and are working hard in-house and with Network Rail to improve performance.”

Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union general secretary Mick Cash said: “Govia Thameslink Railway have become an international laughing stock and it is time for the Government to pull the plug on this continuing scandal that shames our transport network.

“They are in breach of contract and have been for months and they should be thrown off the tracks immediately and the publicly owned option, Directly Operated Railways, brought in to sort out the chaos GTR have unleashed.”

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