POOR performance of local rail routes have been highlighted in a new report, that says one rail company offered “exceptionally bad levels of disruption.”

Over the last few months of 2019 rail passengers in West Yorkshire were blighted by cancelled, delayed and overcrowded trains.

Next week a group of local council representatives will hear that rail performance over the October to December period had "fallen significantly."

Both Northern Rail and Transpennine Express are criticised in the report on rail performance, which goes before the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee on Friday.

It refers to Periods 8 and 9 of the year - mid October to early December, but does not include any data after the timetable change on December 15.

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However, the committee will be told that despite the new timetable, performance is likely to remain "disappointing."

The report was written before news that the government may soon strip Northern Rail of its franchise.

It says the poor performance is down to a mix of "significant disruption events" and the "complexities of having the right crew available given the mix of new trains."

Many staff are diverted from their regular duties to undergo training to run newer models of train introduced by both rail operators.

The report to members says: "The latest comparative performance indicates that performance has fallen significantly across both TransPennine Express and Northern, with exceptionally bad levels of disruption on TPE.

“Periods 8 and 9 are typically poor compared to other times in the year due to the impact of autumn leaf-fall on railhead conditions.

"However, this year’s performance is significantly worse than can be explained by autumn effects.

“Northern has adapted its plans for new train introduction to help manage the impacts associated with training, which, in part, has resulted in further Pacers remaining in service into 2020. There is an expectation that performance will continue to be impacted in coming weeks as new trains ‘bed-in’, which is difficult to mitigate.

“The December 2019 timetable change includes further structural tweaks aimed at improving the overall reliability of services. Considering the above factors, especially the large-scale introduction of new trains in coming months, it is likely that overall performance will remain disappointing.

“The recent poor levels of reliability have had serious impacts on day-to-day journeys for many passengers.”

It says that for Northern Rail in West Yorkshire, just 70 per cent arrived within five minutes of their scheduled arrival time, down from 73 per cent last year.

Six per cent were cancelled or "significantly late" and five per cent were "short formed" - which mean they ran on reduced capacity than planned.

Transpennine Express services running between Liverpool, Manchester Huddersfield, Leeds, Hull and York just 60 per cent of trains arrived within 10 minutes of their planned arrival time.

Nineteen per cent of their trains on the North route were cancelled or "significantly late."

A number of incidents led to major delays and cancellations - the report says. These include:

25 October – Train fault at Leeds

26 October – Signal failure at Shipley

26 October – Flooding at Kirk Sandall

7 November – Flooding at Walsden

7 November – Overhead line issues at Guiseley

3 December – Doncaster track circuit failure

4 December – Freight train traction problems at Dronfield

2 December – Track circuit failure at west end of Leeds station

7 December – Sheffield points failure

6 December – Castleford track circuit failure

Steve Hopkinson - regional director of Northern, has written to the committee saying: "I can only apologise for the poor performance that our customers have experienced across West Yorkshire over the last few weeks."

He said the introduction of the new trains has brought "some short/medium term reliability issues" and problems have included windscreen wiper faults and "crew confidence."

Leo Goodwin, Managing Director of Transpennine Express, has written to the committee saying: "We expect to see performance progressively improve following the introduction of the December 2019 timetable, whilst recognising we will still need to roll out of the new trains."

The committee meets in  Wellington House, Wellington Street, Leeds at 11am next Friday.