Transport Focus survey reveals commuter frustration
The percentage of passengers satisfied with their journey during the autumn 2016 Transport Focus survey was 81%, 2% down on the same period in 2015. However, the result was a 1% improvement on the spring 2016 survey.
TF carried out fieldwork between 1 September and 20 November 2016, which included surveying its one-millionth passenger. Satisfaction was highest among long distance passengers (86%), followed by regional (84%) and London and South East (80%).
The results show that no operator significantly improved its overall satisfaction score. Open access operators performed strongly, with Hull Trains (97%), Heathrow Express (96%) and Grand Central (91%) achieving good results. The top performing franchised operator was Merseyrail (95%), followed by Chiltern Railways (91%) and Virgin Trains East Coast (91%).
Three operators saw significant declines in satisfaction compared to the autumn 2015 survey – Southern (down 12% to 65%), ScotRail (down 7% to 83%) and Great Northern (also down 7% to 78%). Thameslink also performed poorly, with an overall score of 73%, along with Southeastern (77%).
Nationally, the proportion of passengers satisfied with punctuality and reliability was 73%, 5% down on the autumn 2015 survey, and this was the factor showing the largest decline.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, said: ‘The results around the country are disappointing. Scottish passengers and those travelling in peak hours in London and the South East are bearing the brunt of poor performance.
‘The timetable on parts of the London and South East’s railway can be a work of fiction which passengers cannot rely on. As passenger numbers rise, parts of the rail network will remain brittle until welcome improvements are in place and working.’