Peterborough commuters hit hard by cancellations and delays with Thameslink and LNER amongst worst culprits

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Those who travelled by rail in 2018 experienced the worst year for cancellations and significant delays since records began.

Govia Thameslink and LNER were among the worst for cancellations and delays respectively.

LNER suffered proportionately the most delays of any train operating company (Photo: Shutterstock)

LNER suffered proportionately the most delays of any train operating company (Photo: Shutterstock)

In 2018, Rail passengers experienced the worst year for cancellations and significant delays since records began, research from Which? has found.

Nearly four million hours were lost to significantly delayed trains last year, covering more than eight million journeys with around 80 trains a day significantly delayed.

Cancellations were even higher, with 660 trains per day cancelled leaving commuters and travellers scrabbling for alternative transport.

Peterborough commuters affected

Peterborough commuters travelling into London with Thameslink suffered the second highest proportion of delayed trains with 6.5 per cent of all trains cancelled.

LNER (formerly Virgin East Coast prior to a government bailout of the franchise) and Virgin Trains West Coast had the highest proportion of trains arriving between half an hour and two hours late than any other franchise, also affecting Peterborough commuters travelling north.

LNER passengers suffered significant delays almost five per cent of the time, but those traveling via East Midlands Trains or Greater Anglia suffered fewer cancellations with 2.3 and 3.3 per cent of trains cancelled respectively.

Embattled train operator Northern, who suffered major delays and cancellations when a new timetable was introduced last year, had nearly four per cent of trains cancelled with 0.4 per cent significantly late.

However, the company accounted for 12 per cent of all significantly late trains and 14 per cent of all cancellations in 2018.

Only a third claim for compensation

With the law allowing passengers to claim compensation if their train is more than 30 minutes late arriving at its destination or cancelled, the high number of delays would be expected to be a worry for train operators.

However, research by Which? showed that just over a third, 34 per cent, of journeys where money is owed for delays or cancellations are being claimed.

Research suggests this is mainly due to the opacity of the compensation process with 36 per cent of people unaware of how or where to claim.

Another 32 per cent do not claim because it is too much effort and one in five did not claim because the compensation would not have been very much.

Shockingly, for six in ten journeys that were significantly delayed or cancelled, passengers were not informed of their right to claim compensation.

Neena Bhati, Which? Head of Campaigns said: ““Passengers have faced a torrid time on the trains since the beginning of last year where the rail industry has fundamentally failed on punctuality and reliability.

“People then face a messy and complex compensation system which puts them off claiming when things go wrong.

“A vital way the government’s rail review and industry can start to restore faith is by introducing automatic compensation for delays and cancellations so that passengers don’t have to fight to get the money they are owed.”