THE national train regulator has ruled that Network Rail’s North West and Central region have fallen to unacceptable levels of service for both passengers and freight operators due to frequent delays.

The Office for Rail and Road (ORR) found delays to be excessive at 0.34 minutes per 100km of train travel, worse than expected levels with 2.05 minutes per 100km and the worst of all five of Network Rail’s regions.

John Larkinson, ORR chief executive, said: “Rail passengers and freight operators have had unacceptable train performance in 2019-20 and tackling this must be a priority."