Passengers’ views on Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern and South Eastern franchises

28 March 2013

Independent watchdog Passenger Focus has released its findings on the needs of passengers on two major rail franchises.

Government, local authorities and rail companies bidding to run the South Eastern rail network, and the combined Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern area, will be able to use our research, part of the full response to Government’s consultations on the franchises, to make sure the new contracts deliver passengers’ priorities.

It is published on our website ( so that passengers and the wider public can also see the results, which can also be broken down by the six individual routes.

Speaking to over 2400 South Eastern passengers, and 3100 on the combined Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern routes, we found that both sets of passengers valued:
•    value for money for price of ticket
•    punctuality/reliability of the train
•    frequency of trains on the route
•    being able to get a seat on the train.

Passenger Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said:
“For the passenger on the platform, value for money is key – this might not necessarily mean the cheapest ticket price, but paying a reasonable amount for a reliable service where you are more than likely to get a seat.

“New franchise contracts are an opportunity to improve rail services for passengers’ benefit. We will work with Government to help ensure that the next contract meets passenger needs. We are also calling for the contracts to include passenger satisfaction targets and repercussions if the train company lets passengers down.”

– Ends

Notes to editors

The full documents provided to Government can be found on our website, please click the links below:

Routes available to view (by current train operator) are:

  • First Capital Connect:

o    Great Northern (services from Kings Cross/Moorgate to Hertford North, Welwyn North/Foxton, Cambridge/Kings Lynn,and  Arlesey/Peterborough Thameslink Loop
o    Thameslink North (from Blackfriars/ Kentish Town to Luton/Bedford and Harpenden)
o    Thameslink South (St Pancras/London Bridge to Three Bridges/Brighton and Sevenoaks)

  • Southeastern Railways:

o    High Speed
o    Mainline (including Hastings/ Tonbridge to London, Rochester/Ramsgate to London, Ashford via Maidstone East to London)
o    Metro (Gravesend/ Dartford to London and Sevenoaks to London)

Passenger Focus is the official, independent consumer organisation representing the interests of rail users nationally and bus, coach and tram users across England outside London. We want to make a difference for rail, bus, coach and tram passengers.  

We’ll do this by:
– providing authoritative advice for industry based on sound research
– securing improvements to services – both big and small-scale improvements
– helping passengers with advice and information~
– campaigning for change
– acting on rail passenger complaints

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