The two train operators serving the Greater Manchester area came near the top of customer dissatisfaction in the latest survey of rail users for the Transport Focus Group.

The National Rail Passenger survey for Autumn 2018 saw both operators see their customer satisfaction plummet, Northern by nine per cent, Transpennine by eight per cent

The lowest ratings for overall satisfaction were given to Great Northern (68 per cent), Northern (72 per cent), South Western Railway (73 per cent), TransPennine Express (73 per cent), and Greater Anglia (73 per cent).

Nationally the percentage of journeys rated as satisfactory overall was 79 per cent. This was significantly down compared to autumn 2017 (when 81 per cent of journeys were satisfactory).

At a National level, the proportion of journeys rated as satisfactory by passengers regarding punctuality/reliability was 71 per cent. This was significantly down compared to autumn 2017 when 74 per cent were satisfactory.

The survey captures satisfaction of more than 25,000 passengers with their latest journey during the period

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

“Our latest survey confirms passenger satisfaction has fallen to a 10-year low. Government and the industry must continue to focus on performance. In the longer term the Government’s Rail Review must bring about fundamental change.

“Passenger irritation at poor performance erodes their most basic trust in the industry. Passenger frustration at continual fare increases saps confidence in the system to reform itself. Passenger anger during the summer timetable crisis was palpable.

“A better value for money and more reliable railway must arrive soon for passengers.”

Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary said:

For an industry which claims to put the passenger at the centre of everything it does, these figures show the dreadful reality of customer satisfaction with train companies.

“The survey emphasises the short-sighted greed of train operators which hiked fares by 3.2% while punctuality and reliability on their services are in decline.

“It demonstrates the gulf between the government’s empty rhetoric and the real world experience of rail passengers and highlights the folly of Chris Grayling’s policy to reduce railway staff.


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