Financial News

  • 17 February 2014, 14:31

Rail Satisfaction Levels Drop Below 50%

Passenger satisfaction levels have dipped below 50% for the majority of train companies, according to a new survey.

For two companies - Greater Anglia and Southeastern - the satisfaction score was just 40%, Which? found.

Ten of the 19 companies had satisfaction scores of less than 50%, with Merseyrail the best-performing company at 70%.

The survey, conducted among 7,415 UK adults in November 2013 also showed that 16% of all passengers experienced a delay on their last journey, with that figure rising to 26% among commuters.

Which? also asked what passengers felt would improve their journeys and what they would be prepared to pay more for.

Lower ticket prices were top of the list, with 80% of those surveying saying fares were too high.

Passengers also wanted to see more carriages at peak times (35%) and wi-fi as standard (20%).

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "It's disappointing to see some train companies consistently falling down on the basics of customer service, with dirty and overcrowded carriages and toilets that don't work.

"Seven rail franchises end in the next two years and we want to see passengers' experiences put right at the heart of the tender process so companies respond to consumer expectations and can be held to account if they don't."

A spokesman for the rail industry body the Rail Delivery Group said: "As we acknowledged last month when the independent watchdog's far more comprehensive survey found that more than four out of five passengers were satisfied with their overall journey, the industry needs to build on the improvements it has delivered over the last 15 years.

"We are always keen to get feedback from customers, whether good or bad, which has helped the industry attract record numbers of passengers and cut complaints by three quarters in a decade."

Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said: "As well as getting passengers to their destinations, operators should be working hard to improve the overall experience of their customers.

"Passengers have every right to expect trains to arrive on time and be clean, and while this can be a challenge, I expect operators to do all they can."

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