Over half trains in the North run fewer than half their trains on time

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Just 45.8 percent of stops at stations by TransPennine Express were within a minute of their schedule. Northern was only slightly better at 48 percent. The figures come from Office of Rail and Road data between October 16 and November 12.

Avanti West Coast, which serves north-west England as part of its long-distance routes on the West Coast Main Line, had an on-time figure of 33.3 percent.

It was close to its worst four-week period – 31.4 percent in autumn 2019. All three firms have been hit by staff shortages, with many drivers refusing to work on rest days.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said he is “under no illusions” about the “real problem” blighting northern railways.

He met five of the region’s mayors, who said talks were “positive” but said they needed more than “warm words” to fix the disruption “causing misery for millions”.

Elsewhere, rail operator LNER had an on-time figure of 50.1 percent, while East Midlands Railway managed 45.5 percent – its worst performance on record.

The average on-time figure across Britain was 60.7 percent. The figures also show 4.1 percent of services were cancelled.

They do not include trains removed from timetables the ­day before.

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents operators, said: “In 2019/2020, 64.8 percent of trains arrived on time.

Since then, the industry has had to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

“This year has seen a national rail dispute and extreme weather challenges ranging from three storms and flooding to heatwaves.

“Between May 1 to October 15, more than 87 percent of trains arrived within five minutes of their scheduled time on commuter and regional routes and 10 minutes for long-distance service

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