New report finds that Sussex services have declined

Southern Rail train in Chichester Station

The Office of Rail and Road finds that train service performance in Network Rail’s Southern region declined, but remains better than pre-pandemic levels

The Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) annual assessment of Network Rail’s Southern region (April 2021 to March 2022) finds that passenger train performance declined from the previous year’s peak, but it remained better than pre-pandemic levels.

Performance was found below the regional average on Sussex routes.

The rail regulator reports that the Southern region delivered £190 million of efficiencies during the year but missed its annual target by 8%. The region remains confident that it can deliver £957 million of efficiencies over the whole of Control Period 6 (April 2019 to March 2024).

ORR’s report finds that overall safety performance in the region was broadly positive although there is room to improve.

Train collisions and other incidents in the region reveal weaknesses that must be addressed.

The Southern region managed the reliability of its assets well and delivered most of its planned renewal work for the year. But the regulator calls for the region to take action to improve its structures examinations.

Stephanie Blyth, ORR’s Senior Regulation Manager for the Southern region said: “Train service performance in Network Rail’s Southern region declined from last year’s peak, but remained better than before the pandemic.

“The region delivered well on engineering works, including improvements to Denmark Hill station. However, it needs to focus on reducing its backlog of structures examinations.”

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