Southern Worst for Customer Satisfaction
16 January 2018, 10:23
Southern Rail, which operates trains out of Ashford and Tonbridge, has come bottom of a customer satisfaction survey for the third year in a row.
It scored just 28% in the Which? report, with one star out of five for value for money, reliability and punctuality, and two stars for all other categories.
More than a third (37%) of Southern commuters asked said they thought the service has got worse in the past 12 months.
The National Audit Office said last week that the Department for Transport made decisions in setting up the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise which "have negatively impacted on passengers".
Southeastern, which runs trains between Kent and London came joint second bottom with a score of 38%. It received one star for value for money and two in each of the other categories.
Nationally, the vast majority of commuters told the survey they had seen no improvement in their train service over the past year.
Some 67% of commuters thought the service from their train company had stayed the same and 13% believed it had got worse.
Just one in five (20%) respondents had noticed an improvement.
Grand Central topped the Which? table, receiving an overall score of 64% and four stars in all categories.
A total of 2,865 UK commuters were polled in October and November.
Alex Hayman, managing director of public markets for Which?, said: "Fares are going up but frustrated and long suffering passengers affected by seemingly never ending delays, cancellations and dirty trains don't feel that their services are getting any better.
"The problems don't stop there. People are also finding it difficult to claim compensation when things go wrong. Automatic compensation must be introduced across the industry so that people can get the money they are owed."
Jacqueline Starr, a managing director at the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train companies and Network Rail, said: "Rail companies continue to work together with a long-term plan to change and improve services further.
"The partnership railway of the public and private sectors is doing more to improve journeys, better connect communities and boost the economy."