Wednesday, August 18, 1999 Published at 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
No let-up for train woes
Passengers are still said to be receiving a poor service
Trains are running later and becoming increasingly unreliable, according to the latest rail users' performance figures.
Click here to see a full table of results.
This represents an increase of 27% on the previous 12 months.
But he said rail services had significantly improved since February, when John Prescott, the deputy prime minister, held a summit with the rail companies and regulators.
Operators failing to meet demand
The rail watchdog measures delays and cancellations across the country, as well as the number of complaints by passengers.
The report covers every train and does not allow operators to exclude their worst days.
CRUCC chairman David Bertram said: "Too often punctuality and reliability have remained stubbornly short of target."
"Performance is simply not yet good enough over much of the network."
There was better news about rail fares, with an average increase of 3.1% between September 1997 and September 1998 - slightly below the rate of inflation.
More investment needed
The Committee did welcome the 30% reduction in complaints about the national telephone rail inquiry service, and fewer moans about penalty fares, safety and security.
He said there was evidence that this had significantly contributed to delays and was stalling train operators' plans to introduce new services.
Lord Macdonald admitted that some of the £20bn total potential investment under the new rail bill - including the new trains - could be up to two years away.
David Morphet, director general of the Railway Forum, admitted it was disappointing that progress had not kept pace with the big increase in demand for rail travel.
"But, as this reports points out, investment on a major scale is the key to meeting this challenge," he said.