Office of Rail and Road
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Pre-cancellation issues continue as new data shows almost a quarter of all TransPennine Express trains cancelled

Statistics published today by the Office of Rail and Road show that for the four weeks between 5 February and 4 March, TransPennine Express’ cancellation score worsened from 7.2% to 23.8% when adjusted to include pre-cancellations due to a shortage of available train crew.

TPE fully pre-cancelled (P*-coded) 1,093 and part pre-cancelled 532 trains for this reason.

ORR has instructed the rail industry to change how they record ‘pre-cancellations’ and to introduce a more passenger-friendly and transparent way of working when making late changes to services. 

A suitable plan has yet to be implemented and until the practice ceases, ORR will continue to publish this data to ensure full transparency.   
Feras Alshaker, Director, Planning & Performance, said,

“Until we are satisfied that official statistics reflect passenger experiences, we will make sure that information on service reliability is available for passengers and stakeholders. 

“We acknowledge that ongoing strike action has led to a refocusing of resources elsewhere, but this should not deflect from the fact that this needs to be sorted as a matter of urgency. 

“We’ll continue to publish pre-cancellation data until we’re satisfied and should we not have a satisfactory plan from industry by the end of April, we will consider imposing a change in the way these services are recorded.”

Of the 24 train operators in Britain, eight reported recording resource availability shortage (P*-coded) pre-cancellations and are included in the statistics published today. 

Northern Trains and ScotRail reported significant numbers of full pre-cancelled services due to a shortage of available train crew, at 380 and 159 respectively. 

TfW recorded 98 full and 159 part pre-cancellations due to a shortage of available trains. 

As a result of the inclusion of “P*-coded” pre-cancellations, the national cancellations score increased by 0.4 percentage points in the latest period to 3.3%. 

Notes to Editors

  1. Passenger rail performance: cancellations data - Rail period 12 (5 February 2023 to 4 March 2023) factsheet.
  2. “Pre-cancellation” is often referred to as “P*-coding”. This is a generic, colloquial term for cancellations made before the day where the train is removed from the timetable.
  3. This data only covers pre-cancellation due to availability of train operator staff or rolling stock. Other types of pre-cancellation (for example due to severe weather or major ongoing infrastructure unavailability) are not included within this data.
  4. There is no historic data available on resource availability shortage pre-cancellations. Data collection by ORR begin in period 11 (8 January to 4 February 2023).
  5. The Office of Rail and Road is the primary producer of official statistics for rail.
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