Rail Commuters Face Longer Journeys

30 August 2011, 14:15 | Updated: 30 August 2011, 14:20

Commuters who now face longer journies to London are being warned as the network on the East Coast gets more popular - it could take even LONGER to travel to capital by train in future.

Currently, it takes 45 minutes FROM King's Cross to Peterborough - but takes 59 minutes BACK, and that's 6 minutes longer
than last year.

The suspicion is that train companies are adding minutes onto journeys to build-in a buffer zone to allow train companies to "catch-up" from running delays.

Officially, rail industry rules allow a train to arrive 10 minutes late, for the service to STILL be deemed to beon time

Passengers won't be happy to hear that Government also rules that a train has officially arrived at a station, when the front of the train has passed a sensor, which could up to half-a-mile BEFORE the platform.

A train then has to be half-an-hour late before a train company is obliged to offer up to half the train fare as compensation, whichever part of the rail infrastructure is to blame.

Traveller's watchdog Passenger Focus have told heart they would like to hear from any passengers who suspect their train company is extending journey times simply to avoid having to shell out compensation.

A spokesman for East Coast Trains, which is funded by the public, told Heart "We’ve introduced an additional 117 services per week following the seamless launch of our new timetable (this summer). 

This new timetable has included many faster journeys and an improved pattern of services, with many more standardised journey times running on a “clockface” timetable.

In planning timetables, (10 years for this timetable), consideration is given to the capacity on the route, operators’ aspirations and to ensuring journey times are realistic and achievable: a key part of customers’ satisfaction with rail services is to arrive at the time published in the timetable.