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Passengers give thumbs up to rail service

But many say tickets are too expensive


The majority of Britain’s rail passengers think the service they receive is ‘good’, according to a survey published today.

Independent rail watchdog Passenger Focus asked more than 25,000 commuters what they thought of the state of Britain’s rail network.

Overall 81 per cent thought the service is ‘good’ and just 7 per cent rated it as ‘poor’.

Customers are also pleased with the punctuality of services with 79 per cent saying trains were on time and 10 per cent claiming services are often late.

Ticket prices

However, the survey is not all good news for rail providers. Only 43 per cent of people surveyed thought ticket prices represented value for money with 34 per cent believing train travel was overpriced.

Safety on platforms also remains an issue for passengers following some high-profile media campaigns urging stations to be manned at all times. Only 59 per cent said they felt completely safe while waiting for trains.

Six operators made significant year-on-year gains and only Virgin Cross Country (6 per cent drop to 60 per cent) and First Great Western (3 per cent drop to 77 per cent) suffered decreases in customer satisfaction ratings.

Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus chief executive, said: ‘For some passengers things are moving in the right direction. However there are still big areas for improvement, not least value for money.

‘The disparity between train companies is significant. Passengers have a right to expect a good level of service across the board.’

Heathrow Express

The Heathrow Express – the service between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport – was voted the nation’s favourite with an overall satisfaction rating of 96 per cent..

Brian Raven, Managing Director of Heathrow Express, said he thought the success of the service was due to the short journey time of just 15 minutes and the availability of trains.

‘Heathrow Express is a successful example of how to put customer service at the centre of a train operation,’ he said.

‘The company launched to serve a highly demanding market which includes very time-sensitive customers arriving from and departing to the four corners of the globe.’

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