Rail passenger satisfaction ratings are still nearly as low as they were 10 years ago

Rebecca Smith
Ah, the good old rush hour sardine squish
Ah, the good old rush hour sardine squish (Source: Getty)

There has been virtually no progress on low satisfaction ratings among rail passengers in the past 10 years, according to new analysis.

Consumer group Which? analysed official Transport Focus data over a decade and said satisfaction with how delays are dealt with on rail services, and how complaints are handled, have remained nearly flat.

Read more: Here are the UK's most complained about train companies

The scores today are 35 per cent and 46 per cent respectively, while 10 years ago they stood at 32 per cent and 42 per cent.

Satisfaction regarding value for money was also still low, though it had risen seven per cent to 47 per cent. Which? said that in the past 10 years, rail fares have increased by 44 per cent; a nine per cent rise above inflation.

Meanwhile, the percentage of passengers satisfied with the punctuality and reliability of their train service has fallen to 72 per cent, falling five percentage points to its lowest level in a decade. Passengers who use the train to commute reported even lower satisfaction levels at 63 per cent.

Alex Hayman, Which? managing director of public markets, said:

Our analysis highlights that the rail industry has been failing its passengers, particularly in the way they handle delays and manage complaints. This just isn't good enough for the millions of people who are reliant on rail services on a daily basis.

The consumer group wants a mandatory transport ombudsman so all train firms and airlines must join to help manage customer complaints with their services.

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train companies and Network Rail, said:

Rail companies are working together and investing to improve services across Britain for the long term, including more trains more often and simpler fares.

We’re making journeys better and we’re sorry when customers don’t get the service they expect - four in five people say they are satisfied with their train journey and the long-term trend is one of falling customer complaints.

And in case you were wondering what the worst train companies are... here's a run-down from January.

As for most complained about, Virgin Trains West Coast and East Coast were top, though Southern rail owner Govia Thameslink Railway recorded a 218 per cent rise in its complaint rate for 2016-17, in this update from the Office of Rail and Road last month.

Read more: Southern rail fined £13.4m by government after poor performance

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