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Recently published data show that the operator of the Great Northern services - Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) - was the worst performing rail operator in the UK during May 2016.

great northern logoGTR's "performance and punctuality measure" for May (referred to as "Period 2") was 78.1% - representing the percentage of services which run and complete their journey "on time" (ie were less than five minutes late).  This compares with 87% for May 2015.  GTR also had the highest cancellation and significant lateness (CaSL) rate, at 7.4%.  Network Rail figures show that GTR was responsible for 42% of its delays, whereas 55% were caused by Network Rail and 3% were caused by other companies.

The May 2016 figures for GTR and other operators are discussed on the Rail Technology Magazine website.  London Travelwatch has also published damning data about GTR's performance, in this case for the period January to March 2016.

Analysis of this data from the point of view of a Hertford Loop passenger is complicated by the complexity of the routes operated by GTR, by ongoing infrastructure problems at London Bridge and by poor industrial relations affecting services south of the Thames.  GTR does publish daily figures for Great Northern, but unfortunately these can only be accessed for one day.

On the most recent day for which data is available - Tuesday 28th June - Great Northern achieved a performance and punctuality measure of 85.93% - by far the highest of any of the constituent parts of the GTR empire.  And 53% of trains arrived at the actual scheduled time (compared with a mere 23% on the Southern Mainline).  Without seeing figures for other days, it's unclear how typical the relative performances are.

I would certainly like to have seen the figures for Sunday 26th June.  I was planning to catch a train around 8pm, but discovered that there were more cancellations on the Hertford line than trains actually running, meaning that there were 90 minute gaps in the service.  Not an insuperable problem for people in London, where there are tube and bus alternatives, but for someone trying to get to or from Hertford, let alone Cuffley or Bayford, this must be a quite intolerable situation.

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