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
    +1

    Comment number 901.

    Highest fares in the EU, overcrowded, unreliable but the biggest scandal is the £3.5 billion annual subsidy (far higher than BR ever got). If the private train companies want to run our railways, they should pay for the lot; they shouldn't expect private profit, public subsidy. On these terms (laissez-faire economics, no less) they couldn't, which is why rail was nationalised in the first place.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 900.

    It's about time these Trotskiest fossils got back inside their soapboxes instead of standing on them. Rail workers in London are not the opressed workers of yesteryear. They are well paid compared to many of the people they convey to their poorly paid paid jobs on a daily basis, and are no more a special case than the rest of us.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 899.

    @896 Competition isn't working for us, we end up with cartels.
    I don't want to pick between who is robbing me the most be it virgin or scot rail, the rail of the seventies was underfunded sucessive govts had given up with rail and saw the car as the way forward that had started with Beeching). Bring back BR.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 898.

    Train companies like GA or FCC do not care about what you think. They have a captured audience, no competition whatsoever (not even from cars...) and even after that, should they fail to achieve the amount of ticket sales preagreed with the government, we, the tax payer would fill the gap!
    Privatise the profits, nationalise the losses... Business as usual

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 897.

    896.Bob Roberts
    Selling train paths is fine. But who would you have manning the stations? A train service can be cruicified by the station operator. Get one to delay a particular service from leaving and everyone else can claim compensation for minutes of delay. It's not that simple.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 896.

    #894
    Or remove the subsidies and open them up to real competition - sell 5 minute slots on each part of the track, with hefty fines for being late or missing said slot, unless there is a good reason.
    To simply nationalise everything would still not increase choice or competition, it would just play right into the hands of unions, and we saw what happened when they got involved in the 1970s.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 895.

    Just remeber those who are saying "car is best" you are NOT paying the true cost of road building and repair unlike those who have to grin and bear it for the railways.
    Oh and where is my competitive train on my "privatised is best" guaranteed franchise monopoly line?

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 894.

    The railway system typifies what is wrong with this country.
    High fares, poor service, privatised but still subsidised, fat cats with fatter bonuses and rather than spend profits on investment they prefer to raise prices to "improve our services" but manifestly fail to do so.
    Nationalise them then run them to make enough money for re-investment not shareholders and board chairmen.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 893.

    So what?
    Does anyone really think the the rail companies give a dam what their customers think of the service they get? Dream on. The rail companies answer to their shareholders alone and for as long as they are allowed to get away with providing a service for humans that livestock would be banned from using, they are going to carry on. Mr Cameron please note.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 892.

    #553
    And presumably, after crippling our internal infrastructure, they'd have completed an invasion in 1-2 weeks and these shiny new railways would be built by people participating in Nazi labour schemes.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 891.

    889.Tionisla
    Hudson - the Railway King - who built most of the railways was a con man. Most of our railways are sub standard because of him. He built the tracks to close together, cut clearences in bridges and tunnels. Net result, we are now spending £M to get Euro Containers through routes that cannot accept them. 49 bridges to be rebuilt between Southampton and the West Midlands alone.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 890.

    I used to use the train to go to work - gave it up to drive there instead. Time taken is very little different but I travel when I want to and miss the worst of the traffic. I don't continually get colds, I save about £1.5K a year and I am more relaxed when I get to my destination, Trains were 1/hour except late afternoon when it changed to 1 every 2 hours - and they were always packed.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 889.

    #885: I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if its the Victorian bits that are working the best still and half the problems are down to the damage that's been done in making things more "efficient" since then (OK, Victorian steam locomotives and rolling stock wouldn't be up to the job now but we're not using them any more anyway).

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 888.

    @860. Exiledblade
    The tax payer does not need to subsidise the rail. If rail were priced correctly all trains would be full and there would be millions of tons of freight, the roads would be all but empty.
    Scrap hs2, spend the money on reinstating stations and branchlines Beeching cut and then 1/4 the price on all tickets and goods.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 887.

    Just looked at the original report. Reading the whole thing, the rail companies' performance is a lot better than the headline figure makes out. The Department of Transport is responsible for ordering of new trains and there have been a long break whilst it has been deciding what to do. Lack of new trains impacts both overcrowding and reliability, which accounts for much of the dissatisfaction.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 886.

    "Half of rail firms have low satisfaction levels, survey finds"

    & I thought this was a news "service" ?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 885.

    Like so many things in this country we are relying on infrastructure bequeathed to us by the Victorians which is creaking at the seams. When you add accountants and shareholders into the mix that are demanding maximum profit (which means stripping everything to the bare minimum) it a wonder things work as well as they do.

    Just wait until the shortage in our energy supply comes home to roost !!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 884.

    I am a regular traveler between Cambridge and Dundee. At the beginning I used the trains. Several times the trains got cancelled, leaving me stranded. One time I got on the train from Dundee and in Edinburgh they cancelled the train due to a problem. They knew the line was closed when we were in Dundee but didn't say anything. Now I fly instead. I have more rights if a flight gets cancelled

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 883.

    @Greggers Well put.

    Although I doubt whether IP is as big an issue as say, corruption & bureaucracy. Bottom line would be, if it makes sense Economically - all the rest can be downplayed. Eg:China.

    To have economic ties with South/SouthEast Asia is a good thing.Be it this govt.or any future ones.At least the guy is laying the ground work.

    General vibe in the comment section is just so -ve.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 882.

    i work in the industry, would like to see the questions Which used, wouldnt be the first time their surveys had been skewed,

    the Pass Focus surveys have been the same for years, more reliable I feel, long way to go but we are getting slowly better

    as for the roads my train goes past the A12 and M25 daily and i know which I thinks better

 

Page 3 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.