Almost one in five London Midland trains failed to be on time in the four weeks to mid-November, new figures showed today.
The problems of the train company, which connects Northampton with London and Birmingham, contributed to a dip in national rail punctuality in the mid-autumn period.
A total of 88.9 per cent of trains ran on time in the period October 14 to November 10, compared with 89.3 per cent in the same period last year, Network Rail (NR) said.
London Midland was only able to run 82.7 per cent of trains on time in the mid-autumn 2012 period compared with 86 per cent in the same period of 2011.
The company’s driver situation was raised in the House of Commons recently, with Conservative MP Mark Garnier saying London Midland’s performance continued to be “absolutely atrocious”.
Leader of the House, Andrew Lansley, replied that London Midland was not yet technically in breach of its obligations, “but if improvements are not seen in very short order, the Department for Transport will need to consider taking action against the train operator”.
NR said a number of factors had impacted on London Midland’s mid-autumn performance, including a number of wiring problems, cable theft and “a temporary imbalance between trainee and qualified drivers”.
London Midland was also the worst-performing company for punctuality in mid-autumn this year.
A spokesman for the Association of Train Operating Companies said: “These latest figures show that on average almost nine out of 10 trains are arriving on time, as train companies continue to work hard with the rest of the industry to maintain a good performance for passengers.
“But we’re not complacent and will continue to focus our efforts on providing passengers with the service they expect and deserve.”