‘The failures of privatisation are coming home to roost financially and in terms of dysfunctionality’, according to one railways expert after research shows half of services through Croydon’s busiest station are delayed
East Croydon has been named as one of the worst railway stations in the country for delayed and cancelled train services, according to research published this week.
Gatwick Airport, just down the line, is also ranked among Britain’s 10 stations with the highest rate of delayed services.
Gatwick, St Albans City and Blackfriars are also listed among the top 10 stations for highest number of cancelled services.
East Croydon, together with Gatwick, Blackfriars and St Albans, offer services predominately for Southern Railways and Thameslink, which are operated by Govia Thameslink, a private company which receives multi-million subsidies from central government.
East Croydon is rated the seventh worst station for delays, with more than 50per cent of services operating from the station subject to delays in 2022. The figures show that 25per cent of services through East Croydon are subject to delays of three minutes or more.
The high level of delays and cancellations have been linked to 20 years of privatisation, rising costs and labour shortages that have been worsened by pandemic, according to the report’s authors.
According to a report published by The Grauniad, “Rail passengers have been delayed or disrupted on more than half of all train services departing from 15 of Great Britain’s busiest stations in the last year… exposing what has been described as a ‘broken’ railway system that cannot easily be fixed.”
The newspaper used data from the performance-tracking website OnTimeTrains. The Guardian’s analysis looked at the 100 busiest stations in Great Britain.
It found that stations in north-west England have been particularly poorly served in the past year, in some cases with 20per cent of services cancelled, although delayed Thameslink and Southern trains are keeping the lines between Luton and Brighton, via East Croydon, in railway’s “Hall of Shame”.
Tom Haines-Doran, the author of Derailed: How to Fix Britain’s Broken Railways, told the newspaper, “In all senses of the word, the railways aren’t functioning, they are dysfunctional in every important respect.
“And that means that to fix them isn’t just a simple task of fixing one or two aspects. The whole system has broken down and it’s going take a lot of effort and a lot of money to fix it.
“We have a situation where the railways are costing more than ever before, fares are higher than they’ve ever been, and yet cancellations and delays seem to be higher than they’ve ever been before as well.
“The failures of privatisation are coming home to roost financially and in terms of the dysfunctionality of the system.”
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