Commuters continue to bear the brunt of poor performance

24 January 2017

Commuters are getting a raw deal as new research lays bare passenger satisfaction with peak time performance.

Transport Focus’s latest National Rail Passenger Survey, measuring satisfaction of more than 29,000 passengers, is published today.

Southern, ScotRail and Great Northern declined significantly. In Scotland, passenger satisfaction with punctuality has fallen six percentage points.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog, said

“The results around the country are disappointing. Scottish passengers and those travelling in peak hours in London and the South East are bearing the brunt of poor performance.

“The timetable on parts of the London and South East’s railway can be a work of fiction which passengers cannot rely on. As passenger numbers rise, parts of the rail network will remain brittle until welcome improvements are in place and working.

“Southern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Network Rail must continue to collaborate to produce a more robust timetable.  Passengers need a better balance between peak and off-peak services, reliability and capacity.”

The watchdog’s analysis shows that satisfaction is significantly lower for those passengers that travel into London during peak hours. Punctuality, value for money and dealing with delays for peak time passengers are particularly low for certain companies:

Punctuality on Southern: 30 per cent

Value for money on Gatwick Express: 12 per cent

Dealing with delays on Southern 12 per cent.

These figures mirror the passenger experiences in a turbulent period affected by industrial action, reduced service levels and poor performance. We have been gathering these experiences over recent months in London and the South East including our Transport User Panel.

In the coming weeks we will carry out further analysis on the peak commuter experience outside of London and the South East.


Notes to Editors

National Rail Passenger Survey: Transport Focus surveyed more than 29,000 passengers, across Great Britain as part of the NRPS between 1 September and 20 November last year.  It is the largest published rail passenger satisfaction survey in the world.

Carried out twice a year, it provides the latest snapshot of passengers’ satisfaction with different aspects of their train service. Each year we survey around 60,000 passengers. Today’s survey is the 35th wave during which we interviewed our millionth passenger.

A peak journey is one that arrives at a London terminal between 07.00 and 09.59 and departs between 16.00 and 18.59.

Useful links:

Main survey report

Analysis of peak and non-peak passengers in London and the South East


‘At a Glance’ guide – Great Britain wide

‘At a Glance’ guides – individual train company’s results

Media enquiries: Please call press office on 0300 123 2170.




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