Passenger complaints have soared on a main London to Scotland rail line where problems have persisted despite a £9 billion upgrade.
West Coast Main Line operator Virgin Trains received 52.1 per cent more complaints in the 12 months ending March 2009 than in the previous 12 months, figures from the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) showed.
The statistics also showed that only 76.4 per cent of Virgin’s trains ran on time in the January-March 2009 period - well below the national average of 90.3 per cent. Network Rail (NR) completed the West Coast upgrade in December 2008 but continuing delays led the ORR to warn the company about its performance. ORR also urged the NR committee deciding on the level of its top directors’ bonuses to take the West Coast situation into account.
Last month NR announced that some of its directors would receive a performance-related bonus package of more than £300,000 this year.
Overall, passenger train companies received 2.1 per cent fewer complaints from passengers in 2008/09 than in 2008/07, with complaints for the first three months of this year dipping 7.3 per cent compared with January-March 2008.