Londoners 'unimpressed' by trains


Overground rail commuters in London and the south-east are the most dissatisfied passengers in the country, a new survey has revealed.

Research by Passenger Focus, the national rail consumer body, found that 29 per cent of Londoners are not satisfied with the service their train operator provides, compared to the national average of 15 per cent.

The major complaint that commuters from the capital and the south-east have is regards to the price of train tickets, with two-thirds of people feeling that they are not getting value for money, five per cent more than at the time of the last survey, conducted in autumn 2005.

Although overall satisfaction levels have remained consistent in London, the chairman of the travel watchdog in the capital, Brian Cooke of Travelwatch, believes that train operators should still be concerned.

"This is a worrying statistic, and one the train companies need to think hard about. Passengers have also expressed low satisfaction with personal security and the availability of staff at stations," he said.

However, there were isolated cases of train lines experiencing success in terms of customer satisfaction, with the Gatwick Express service recording an overall satisfaction level of 94 per cent.

"There has been small overall improvement in passenger satisfaction, which is welcome, but there are many areas that need significant improvement," Mr Cooke added.

The chairman concluded: "Train operators need to listen to their customers - the passengers - and react to their concerns. If the board of, say, a major retailer had these value for money or security and staffing results presented to them, they would be seriously worried - why don't the train companies seem to have the same concern?"

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