Dear Lyndsey

Passenger rail performance statistics

Thank you to you and your team for making time to speak to us regarding the Office of Rail and Road’s official statistics on passenger rail performance. It is clear from recent media and social media coverage that there is a strong public interest in measuring rail service reliability.

As the statistics regulator, we consider issues related to the production and use of published statistics. We have looked at the statistics published by the Office of Rail and Road on this topic. It is not our role to comment on train cancellation policy decisions.

We welcome the additional information that you have included in the statistical release on passenger rail performance this week. This includes increasing the prominence and detail of the definition of cancellations and highlighting your planned work. We are supportive of this planned work to enhance the statistical publication with the aim to include data on changes to rail services that are not currently recorded in the statistics – for example those removed from the timetable before 22:00 the evening before. This will enhance the value of the statistics by providing users with greater insights and therefore better informing public debate on this topic.

If we can support the development of these statistics by means of convening discussions with data suppliers or through reviewing any element of the planned statistical work then please let us know.

Yours sincerely

Ed Humpherson
Director General for Regulation