Rail passengers don’t seem to be as happy with rail services as what some rail operators say. In fact, a new survey from consumer watchdog Passenger Focus said that rail passengers have been increasingly disappointed with certain rail services over the past year. Its survey shows that passengers were most unhappy with services offered by Govia Thameslink, Southern and Southeastern last year.
This new poll questioned nearly 27,000 passengers. Questions asked during the survey ranged from how they felt about staff attitude to if they felt they were getting their money’s worth. The survey discovered that 81 percent of people were happy overall with the railway system in Britain. This is down from 83 percent the year before, which indicates a drop in overall satisfaction.
Of course, it should be noted that the survey was being conducted between September and November of last year. This means, the survey did not take into account all of the travel chaos that happened during Christmas. Some feel that this would have significantly changed the outcome of the survey.
In terms of different train companies, the satisfaction level varied between 94 and 74 percent. The highest scoring train operators were Chiltern at 93 percent and Heathrow Express and Grand Central at 94 percent. It was a tough year for Southeastern, which saw its score fall 11 percent from last year to be rated the lowest overall at 74 percent. Govia Thammeslink saw a decrease as well, but it wasn’t as severe: only 2 percent to 77 percent.
The chief executive of Passenger Focus, Anthony Smith, said that overall satisfaction levels for rail passengers took a big hit last year. The survey shows that passengers were most upset with trains not being on time. Fares have been increasing as well. Passengers are paying more for less reliable service. The government keeps promising change, which is why billions have been invested, but no good change seems to be happening. Things are just getting worse.
Smith added that passengers don’t care who is to blame. All they want is a more reliable service. There needs to be an increase in the overall day-to-day operations of train operators. People use these services to get to their jobs. Without reliable services, train operators are putting people’s livelihoods at risk.
The director general of Rail Delivery Group, Michael Roberts, said that the survey results do nothing but reinforce the company’s drive to please customers. To improve, Rail Delivery Group will work closely with others in the industry. The overall goal is to improve customer satisfaction.