Half of rail firms have low satisfaction levels, survey finds

 
Passengers waiting for a train Which? said many passengers were fed up with trains being late, overcrowded or dirty

Related Stories

More than half of train companies have a customer satisfaction score of 50% or lower, a survey by the consumer group Which? has found.

Only 22% of the 7,500 rail users in the survey felt their service was improving - despite big fare rises last month.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said this was disappointing as most travellers could not "shop around".

However, last month a larger survey suggested the number of satisfied rail passengers was at a record high of 85%.

The National Passenger Survey by Passenger Focus asked 31,626 travellers, while the Which? survey was compiled from responses from 7,500 regular rail users.

The most popular rail company, according to the Which? survey, was Virgin Trains (67% satisfaction) which almost lost its West Coast main line franchise in October.

Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said: "While taxpayers continue to fund the rail industry to the tune of £3.5bn every year, rail companies must do better and the government needs to hold them to account on behalf of passengers and taxpayers."

'Basket cases'

Start Quote

With 1.5 billion train journeys made every year and eight of the 17 UK rail franchises up for grabs in the next two years, customer service should be top of the agenda for every train operating company”

End Quote Richard Lloyd Which?

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport union, said: "It is about time these basket case private train companies were booted off Britain's railways for good and their franchises returned to public ownership."

But a spokesman for the Association of Train Operating Companies said: "The independent watchdog Passenger Focus surveys up to eight times as many people a year and last month reported 85% of passengers are satisfied with their service - a record high."

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "With 1.5 billion train journeys made every year and eight of the 17 UK rail franchises up for grabs in the next two years, customer service should be top of the agenda for every train operating company.

"Passengers tell us they are fed up with trains that are delayed, overcrowded and dirty. This is especially disappointing as many commuters can't shop around or change the company they travel with," he added.

 

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 861.

    I get the Southend Victoria line from Rayleigh, to be fair the trains run 80% of the time on time, the thing that annoys me is when the trains are late, cancelled or just slow they can quickly say sorry and leave it at that! no compensation is offered at all.
    Prices are going up faster than the journey to London

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 860.

    #848 Bob Roberts
    "Why should the taxpayer have to subsidise railways?"
    because without subsidy no average waged individual would be able to afford to use them resulting in permanent road grid-lock.
    On the same basis, why isn't business paying the ENTIRE cost of Cross-rail or HS2 as they are the supposed beneficiaries?

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 859.

    #855
    I'm sure he would also be turning in his grave if the engineering icons that came about through the 1800s era of free enterprise was replaced by socialism and government ownership in the pockets of unions and existing purely as a "public service".

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 858.

    There is a thing called the Sale of Goods Act.......which covers services as well. And Trades Description Act.

    Maybe commuters should start using them en-mass.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 857.

    In the days of Empire, we taught the Indians how to build and run a railway. Now that Cameron is visiting Mumbai, can he please ask them to pass that knowledge back to us, as we seem to have lost it.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 856.

    @852: Or, possibly, that is the only job that they can get.

    There seems to be some assumption that every job in central London is hugely well paid. How much do you suppose the cleaners/shop workers/hotel staff in city centres actually earn, compared to the cost of living near their work?

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 855.

    Isambard Kingdon Brunel would be turning in his grave if he knew how delipidated and expensive the rail network had become.

    Investors have big smiley faces becuase of their returns on their investments, but the public truly have nothing to smile about using the trains.

    I went from Chester to London recently, on a train that had TWO carriages. TWO!!! There was probably 300 people on board!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 854.

    If Mussolini could get it right...

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 853.

    On paper I love trains. Safer than driving, takes you to the centre of town, less stressful than driving and lets you see the country.

    But in real life the crowded, airless carriages combined with high prices and general slowness means I avoid them whenever possible.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 852.

    802.WiseOldBob - ".........similar comments why on earth do you or indeed anyone else put up with it?"


    Because so many people just will not settle for nice enough house/car/holiday etc and insist instead on having the best of everything.....

    ....they prefer moaning about stressful jobs/commutes to accepting living standards that aren't first class across the board.....

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 851.

    The statistics underestimate the delays. My operator, Greater Anglia, often has "good service" headlined on all routes. But read the individual line reports and many trains will be 5, 10 minutes late and/or with fewer coaches than scheduled. These don't necessarily appear in the performance figures.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 850.

    one realizes what a rip off the rail fares are when you look for London to Glasgow fares 2 weeks in advance and the cheapest rail fare is £42 each way while you can get an easy jet flight for just £27. how can the government allow this?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 849.

    #841 Seraphor, sorry re-direct 844 to #627 ricky!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 848.

    #813
    Why should the taxpayer have to subsidise railways? Surely the user should have to bear the full cost, otherwise people who don't use them will have to pay.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 847.

    The simple fact is that rail travel is too expensive for the type of service that they provide to customers.
    Government constantly encourage the use of public transport, but when it's cheaper to fly from one end of the country to another on budget airlines, there is an intrinsic problem,

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 846.

    The problem with our transport systems and infrastructure has everything to do with Government, privatisation and big businesses.
    Nationalisation has been a success for the shareholders and a failure for the rail users and tax payers.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 845.

    I agree with the highest rated comment, it's cheaper, cleaner, quicker and more agreeable travelling by car.
    AND my wife and kids won't get accosted by a drunken guy at Waverley Station in Edingburgh shouting anti English bile again... because we will always go by car from now on!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 844.

    #841 - Seraphor, if rail companies get a bad name "unjustly", why is rail travel in this country so much more expensive than pretty much anywhere else in the world?
    Or don't foreigners commute to work in city centres?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 843.

    I can hear the rail employees getting even more annoyed by us, I can see they will do anything to do nothing, but will want to be paid plenty to do it!

    The job these people do should be targeted by performance like in every other facet of work, lets see how many of them make quarterly bonuses. That should keep the figures right - rather than take off the passengers take off the hopeless staff

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 842.

    Do "Passenger Focus" just make their figures up? Last month they said 85% of customers were satisfied and yet today their own website says 47%. Surely this "independent" organization (paid for by the tory government) would not just lie to save their own jobs?

 

Page 5 of 48

 

More UK stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.