PPM posters – what can you trust?

So today, on my quest to find out the Period 9 (15 Nov – 12 Dec) figures, I saw a poster at Charing Cross station showing what I thought was this period’s figures! At last, partial data to update my table:


However, when I put it into my table, and compared the results of Period 9 with Period 8, I got a bit of a surprise…the results were identical!

This is what the Southeastern site reports for Period 8:


And side by side:


After being advised to talk to our contact at Southeastern when I queried this on Twitter the response we received was that the ‘marketing team’ will ‘check and amend as necessary’.

Given our mistrust in performance figures already, it’s a let down that Southeastern are putting posters out that have mistruths in.

Of course if, given the very low statistical chance, I’m wrong – then I’m happy to be corrected…and if not: the marketing team really need to do better with representing what happened on the railway, and not ‘market’.

More importantly, the PPM of 80.9% (so that’s 80.9% of trains that arrived within 5 minutes of their timetabled time), is the lowest since April 2015 – the previous being 82.2% in Period 8 (the 4 weeks before).

I’ll post the latest comparison once Southeastern update their website with the targets, and what they actually achieved.

UPDATE 05/01/2016: Period 8 is still up at Dartford – both columns are the same as the Period 9 poster that’s at Charing Cross – however the method of rounding numbers is diffferent…where they’ve rounded to one decimal place, then added a 0 for the second decimal place. Maybe some remedial maths classes are in order too…


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About Phil Rogers

Co-founder of Dartford Rail Travellers Association. A weekday commuter into London Charing Cross, since 2001, and campaigner for better services for Dartford Rail users. Makes occasional appearances on radio and the local press.

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