TransPennine Express handed Public Targets after poor performance run

Transpennine Express trains pass at Leeds
Credit: Harry Gribbins

Transport for the North has confirmed that TransPennine Express has been set a ‘public target’ for its performance recovery.

The move has been agreed by leaders across the North of England and follows a period in 2019 when the operator had the worst performance figures in the country.

On some occasions, TPE had less than half of their train services meeting basic performance targets.

Services struggled as a result of problems introducing their new fleet of trains, which experienced a number of teething problems.

transpennine express
Credit: Transport for the North

However, Transport for the North now says it expects TPE to deliver a service that restores passenger trust as it sets benchmark performance targets for the operator to:

  • return performance to early 2019 levels by March 2020
  • improve further on this target by summer 2020
  • show clear progress in restoring its full timetable
  • show clear progress in timely local communication to passengers

Transport for the North has determined that the first milestone for the operator should be to return performance levels to those reached in the first half of 2019, which will be assessed against Public Performance Measure.

In the first half of 2019, the daily PPM stood at 86%. Transport for the North will make an assessment against progress at the end of March 2020. For comparison, in November 2019, TPE’s performance stood as low as 45% PPM.

After TPE removed a number of services because of the late introduction of new trains, TfTN expects TransPennine Express to restore a full timetable as these trains now come into service.

What did the officials say?

Strategic Rail Director for Transport for the North, David Hoggarth, said:

“Passengers in the North of England must have a rail service they can rely on. In the run-up to Christmas last year TPE simply failed to provide what was needed. The operator must now build back trust and deliver what is needed. The new trains are welcome, and the extra capacity they bring is much needed, but service levels must be maintained as they come on stream.”

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  1. Is TransPennine Express beginning to use the Class 397 Nova 2 Civity and to cascade the Class 350/4s to West Midlands Trains. Have the Class 397 actually begun service between Manchester Airport/Manchester Piccadilly-Glasgow Central.


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