Cancelled rural train services doubled last month in Greater Anglia's worst performance of the year
PUBLISHED: 07:56 14 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:49 14 January 2020
The number of cancelled trains on rural lines doubled last month, with Greater Anglia ending the year with its wort performance in 2019.
Figures released by the train operator show 55pc of rural services ran on time or within a minute of its scheduled arrival last month, compared to 69pc in the previous 12 months.
The number of cancellations, meanwhile, doubled, from 5pc to just under 11pc in December.
Greater Anglia apologised for the cancellations as it works to resolve "teething issues" with software and signalling.
Large parts of the network were hit by signalling problems in December which caused hundreds of trains to be cancelled.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch is also investigating a near miss when one of Greater Anglia's new 755 Stadler trains almost hit two cars at Thorpe End level crossing.
A Greater Anglia spokesman said: "We're very sorry for the problems customers and communities suffered on our branch lines in Norfolk and Suffolk during December, because of signalling problems that led to extensive cancellations, whilst additional safety-related checks and other investigations took place."
They said a full timetable was restored on the Norwich to Sheringham line on December 23, following changes to some of the level crossings with some speed restrictions in place.
They added: "We continue to work to further improve the performance of the new trains as we phase them in across our network.
"Although they have not been the root cause of the major disruption, there have been some teething issues with software, which we are working to address, as well as seeking to catch up on the testing, training and commissioning that was delayed as a result of the investigations into the signalling issues, when it was right to take precautionary measures to ensure safe operation of the services."
Figures show 72pc of rural services arrived within five minutes of schedule in the four weeks up to January 2, which has gone down from 86pc compared to the rest of the year.
The train operator also performed poorly on services in the east, with 71pc arriving on time or ahead of schedule compared to 75pc in the rest of the year.