Timetable changes, 9th December

Stakeholder update from TPE (below, in italics) regarding the timetable changes from 9th December. Whilst we don’t always agree with TPE, this seems like a reasonable summary.

The number of cancellations has gone right down (average weekly number of cancellations affecting Marsden and Slaithwaite in the 18 weeks before the timetable change – 32, first week of new timetable – 3). The timetable still isn’t fit for purpose in several aspects, but it’s something to build upon. Hopefully this is the start of the changes needed to rebuild passenger trust and confidence. 

New timetable is at https://d2cf7kiw5xizhy.cloudfront.net/images/timetables/2018-11/december-may/Northern-25-web-1018-28pp.pdf

and https://www.tpexpress.co.uk/travel-updates/timetables, look at table for Manchester to Leeds via all intermediate stations.

As you will be aware, a new timetable was introduced across the rail industry on 9th December 2018.  For TransPennine Express,the small number of changes we made were designed to address the performance issues our services have faced since the timetable change in May 2018. These changes were developed with agreement of Transport for the North and the Rail North Partnership, and following consultation with their local authority members, and are as follows:

  • The service that operated in each direction between Manchester Piccadilly and Leeds, calling at Stalybridge, Greenfield, Marsden, Huddersfield, Deighton, Mirfield, Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury, Batley and Morley is now operated by two separate trains as follows:
    • Manchester Piccadilly to Huddersfield, calling at Stalybridge, Greenfield, Marsden and Slaithwaite
    • Huddersfield to Leeds calling at Deighton, Mirfield, Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury, Batley, Morley and Cottingley
  • The service that operates between Hull and Manchester Piccadilly has had two stops removed and no longer calls at Batley or Slaithwaite, while delivering a sub two hour journey time between Hull and Manchester.  The calls at Batley and Slaithwaite are now made in the newly introduced Huddersfield to Leeds and Manchester to Huddersfield services respectively (as above)
  • We have increased the turnaround time of Newcastle/Middlesbrough to Manchester Airport services at Manchester Airport.  This has not altered the timetable for customers but is designed to improve the reliability of these services

It has been just over a week since the start of the new timetable and we have seen a marked improvement in Public Performance Measure (arrival at end destination within ten minutes) with several days achieving above 80% PPM and a notable decrease in the number of services being cancelled short of their final destination, which we know has caused significant disruption to customers since May 2018.

The new timetable needs a longer period of monitoring and it will take a number of weeks to see an established positive trend, but early indications are good.  We still have to see how the timetable will respond to incidents on the network (train delays, infrastructure issues, vandalism,suicides etc) and it is important that we continue to mitigate the impact such events have on customers.  We will also continue to closely monitor performance and assess the impact and effectiveness of these changes and consider, particularly in light of the performance of services in and around Manchester, whether further amendments will be required to improve train service performance.

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