A survey by the rail watchdog Passenger Focus has found that few passengers feel that they are getting good value for money on their train fares.
With people in the UK feeling strapped for cash, passenger satisfaction with train companies is dropping. The biggest complaints seem to be focussed on how companies deal with delays, and value for money. The research, carried out between spring 2012 and spring 2013, found that only one company - Great Anglia - had managed to improve its satisfaction levels during this time.
The survey found that just 42% of passengers are satisfied with the price and value for money of their ticket. Passengers on London and south-east England services were the most unhappy, with a satisfaction rate of just 38%. 49% of passengers travelling with the Southeastern company said that the tickets were poor or unsatisfactory in terms of value for money.
Delays proved to be a big concern for passengers, with just 36% of customers in London and the Southeast saying they were satisfied with the way the companies deal with delays and the problems they cause.
Anthony Smith, Chief Executive of Passenger Focus, said “Passengers are now the main overall funder of Great Britain’s railway, so it is vital that their key needs are met.” He went on to say: “Given that performance is the key factor that underpins most passengers’ general view of the railway, train companies and Network Rail must keep striving to get more trains on time.”
David Mapp, commercial director at the Association of Train Operating Companies, was quick to defend the rail industry. He said “Train companies know that to be successful they must meet the needs of passengers and deliver high levels of satisfaction and value for money.”
He continued: “While these results show that there is room for improvement, passengers are voting with their feet and taking more journeys than at any time since the 1920s on newer trains, with more services arriving punctually.”