Unreliable trains sap passenger satisfaction

28 January 2020

Dire performance continues for many as passengers in some areas still can’t rely on their train servicesays the independent watchdog.  

The transport user watchdog today releases its latest National Rail Passenger Survey of almost 28,000 passengers. It shows that some areas started to improve, as services became more reliable and new trains were introduced. However, Northern, West Midlands Trains, South Western Railway and TransPennine Express passengers face unacceptable continued disruption and uncomfortable journeys. 

 Chief executive of the independent watchdog, Anthony Smith, said:  

Passengers tell us that their biggest priority is rail services they can rely on to actually get them to work or home on time. Until train companies and Network Rail can consistently deliver on their promises across the country satisfaction will continue to vary.  

 In the meantime passengers hit by poor performance must make their voice heard and claim Delay Repay compensation. 

 Value for money results remained disappointing. Less than half of passengers are satisfied with the value of their ticket nationally – that drops to one in three for commuters.  

 Anthony Smith added: 

Passengers have suffered years of aboveinflation fare rises, exceeding average wage rises, and calculated using the discredited Retail Price Index measureThis does nothing to restore passenger trust in the industry.”  

 Satisfaction with rail journeys was its lowest level in a decade in autumn 2018It has now gone up as passengers in some areas, particularly in London and the south east, felt the benefit of more stable performance and new trains. 

 Transport Focus will use the evidence from the survey as it continues to push for wide-scale reform of the industry, and immediate improvement in reliability for the worst-affected areas.  

 The best and worst performers were (click the arrows to see the categories): 

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Notes to editors 

  • Media contact – Misha MccGwire misha.mccgwire@transportfocus.org.uk / 0300 123 0821.
  •  Transport Focus is the independent transport watchdog representing the interests of:
    • rail passengers in Great Britain 
    • bus, coach and tram passengers across England outside London 
    •  all users of England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads (the Strategic Road Network).

We work to make a difference for all transport users. 

  • We spoke to nearly 28,000 passengers from 2 September to 10 November 2019, and asked them to rate the journey they had just made. Passengers are asked to take part online or on paperat 700 stations and on board trains across Great Britain. We select enough passengers to be representative of the entire network. Questionnaires are distributed at different times of day and across all days of the week.  
  •  Nationally more passengers were satisfied overall – 82 per cent, up from autumn 2018 (79 per cent). 
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