Go to a train station, any train station, ans you'll find at least one service disruption for some random bullshit reason. Whether it's leaves in the tracks, missing staff members, or simply because the train companies felt like going "hah, fuck you", the British rail system is a massive pain in the arse. But have you ever wondered which train station suffered the most disruptions? Which? did, and it turns out it's Manchester Oxford Road.
68 per cent of the trains running out of the station were either late or cancelled, a figure that rises to 77 per cent at peak times. That's... pretty shocking if you ask me, but then again it's in the Northern Rail catchment area, which may explain a lot considering all the issues that have happened there in recent times. In second place was York (65 per cent), followed by Birmingham New Street (60 per cent), Gatwick Airport (60 per cent) and Bristol Temple Meads (58 per cent). Manchester's other stations didn't fair much better than Oxford Road, either, with Piccadilly and Victoria both coming with 56 and 51 per cent, respectively.
London's place in the survey was separated, because the capital is a whole other ball game. It turns out the worst London station is Clapham Junction, with 58 per cent of trains running late or being cancelled. It's followed by King's Cross (45 per cent), Victoria (44 per cent), Stratford (41 per cent), and London Bridge (40 per cent).
Which? also found that the number of people claiming compensation was quite low, despite the delays, probably because it's a huge pain in the arse to fill out all those forms - especially if it happens a lot.It turns out only 13 per cent of people claimed compensation for delays at the 20 busiest non-London stations and the 10 busiest London stations. Which? points out that only eight companies actually offer Delay Repay 15 compensation, which offers compensation for arriving more than 15 minutes late - whatever the reason. Most of them only do it after 30. The consumer rights group does have a guide on what to do, though, and it's well worth brushing up on. It's also calling for automatic compensation systems to be put in place as a result.
Which? managing director of public markets Alex Hayman said:
‘Passengers have told us reliability is hugely important to them. People have been left deeply frustrated at the unacceptably high levels of delays and cancellations, which impact on their everyday lives.
Passengers must be at the centre of the forthcoming government rail review – it must look at performance targets to drive improvements in punctuality and reliability for passengers.
The review must not be used as an excuse to delay real action to improve passengers’ experiences on the trains today. As a first step, the government must introduce fully automatic compensation, ensuring more passengers get the money they are owed.’