Merseyrail has announced that it has broken the national performance record, showing its reputation as one of the most punctual train operators in Britain.
The operator completed a 28 day period with 99% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of their expected arrival time – a first for the rail industry.
Despite fewer passengers due to the pandemic, the operator has faced a number of challenges, such as extreme weather.
Zoe Hands, Chief Operating Officer at Merseyrail, said: “With passenger numbers starting to grow as we emerge from lockdown, our trains have called at stations over 187,000 times during the past month to get key workers and those on essential journeys to where they need to be.
“We’ve long prided ourselves on making sure the Liverpool City Region has the best rail service in Britain and we are almost always on time averaging over 97 per cent punctuality. However, to hit 99 per cent is a staggering and unprecedented achievement and a true testament to the hard work of all our staff.
“If we can achieve this with what is, on average, the oldest fleet of passenger trains of a UK operator, imagine the possibilities when we begin to roll-out the brand-new fleet of trains.
“I would like to extend my thanks to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and our service partners at Stadler, Network Rail, British Transport Police and Carlisle, without whom these kinds of achievements would not be possible.
“To our passengers, I would like to say that we are looking forward to welcoming you all back, and we are ready when you are with cleaner, more reliable and punctual trains than ever before.”
Cllr Liam Robinson, Transport Portfolio Holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “Passengers deserve punctual and reliable services, and this has never been truer, and I am pleased that Merseyrail has been able to consistently maintain these high standards, particularly during these challenging times.
“This result gives us great confidence to continue delivering services for key workers and more passengers in the coming months should national lockdown restriction continue to ease and play a role in supporting the wider economic recovery of the city region.”
Phil James, North-West Route Director at Network Rail, said: “After a difficult winter, I’m proud of how our teams and industry partners responded, which resulted in record-breaking performance for passengers on the Merseyrail network.
“As we prepare to welcome more passengers back to the railway in the coming months, we will continue working side-by-side with Merseyrail to make sure that we continue to put passengers first and deliver a punctual and reliable train service.”