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The UK train stations to avoid if you want to get anywhere on time

Which stations are the worst for delays and cancellations?

The UK train stations to avoid if you want to get anywhere on time
Tom Victor
16 October 2018

How was your commute this morning? Terrible? Thought so.

If you’ve had to travel through one or more of the big London terminals to get into work, chances are your journey in was even worse than most, and now we have the cold hard numbers to justify that argument.

We’ve already told you how to get your money back for those frustrating delays, but you can always be prepared for the worst.

After all, while the capital doesn’t have the worst station in the country for cancellations, that doesn’t mean everything’s nice and rosy.

Some 11 UK stations have seen more than half of their journeys either delayed or cancelled since the start of 2018, including two in London.

That’s according to new research from Which?, using data from On Time Trains, which looks at the 10 busiest London stations and the 20 busiest outside the capital.

Manchester’s Oxford Road station was the worst, with more than two thirds of trains (68%) delayed and a further 5% cancelled, while Manchester Piccadilly (56% delayed, 4% cancelled) also earned the dubious honour of making the top 10.

Meanwhile, if you’re planning on booking a holiday any time soon, it might be worth knowing Gatwick Airport is the only airport station to crack the top 15, with 60% of trains delayed and a further 5% getting the dreaded ‘cancelled’ update. And that’s before we even begin to discuss congestion on the tubes.

Clapham Junction is London’s most disrupted station this year, according to the research, with 54% of trains delayed and 3% cancelled, while Kings Cross (45% and 6% respectively) next in line.

London’s top five is rounded off by Victoria, Stratford and London Bridge, and commuters surveyed by Which? have given more of a feel for just how bad things have got for them.

‘I paid for an extra zone to take an indirect route to work because the direct train was so unreliable I couldn’t use it to get to work,” said commuter Jamie Buchanan-Conroy, who would ordinarily have to travel via Clapham Junction.

“I’m lucky that I had an alternative option – many have no choice but to face a daily battle simply to get from A to B.”

Alex Hayman, Which? managing director of public markets, argues the findings should be used to put pressure on the government to put consumers first.

“Passengers must be at the centre of the forthcoming government rail review – it must look at performance targets to drive improvements in punctuality and reliability for passengers,” Hayman said in a statement.

“The review must not be used as an excuse to delay real action to improve passengers’ experiences on the trains today.

“As a first step, the government must introduce fully automatic compensation, ensuring more passengers get the money they are owed.”

(Images: Getty)