Passenger Focus again calls for improvement on UK rail network

Passenger Focus again calls for improvement on UK rail network

As satisfaction declines, the independent watchdog Passenger Focus has again called for the UK rail industry and government to boost the passenger voice in decisions around getting trains on time versus running more services.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Passenger Focus, said: “Rail passengers’ satisfaction is driven by getting trains on time.”

He added: “Many are being let down - fare increases, billions in government investment and promises of improvement don’t seem to be delivering change on the ground.

“The high profile disruption after Christmas and at London Bridge will only have added to the gloom.”

The National Rail Passenger Survey asked more than 27,000 passengers what they thought of their most recent journey.

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Research found the highest-scoring operators were Heathrow Express and Grand Central, both with 94 per cent satisfaction, and Chiltern, on 91 per cent.

Among the lowest-scored were Govia Thameslink and Southern, both with 77 per cent, and Southeastern, down on 74 per cent.

Smith added: “Passengers do not care who is to blame for things going wrong and for some of them the timetable is a work of fiction.

“If it really is the case that better day-to-day performance can’t be achieved, then an honest, open debate is now needed so that passengers might be able to trust the promises made by the industry again.”