Passengers upset with long-distance rail journeys

08-07-2008

Passengers upset with long-distance rail journeys
Plummeting passenger satisfaction on long-distance rail journeys should be seen as a "red alert" for operators, Britain's national rail watchdog says.

Passenger Focus chief executive Anthony Smith's comments come as his organisation's quarterly survey shows satisfaction with long-haul journeys has fallen by four per cent.

Across the long-distance sector, which features operators Cross Country, East Midlands, First TransPennine Express, National Express East Coast and Virgin, 83 per cent expressed satisfaction - down four per cent overall.

"Satisfaction with station and train facilities from long-distance operators dropped across the board and the five operators should see these scores as a red alert," Mr Smith said.

Overall satisfaction across all rail passengers stood at 80 per cent, with most indicators showing an improvement.

Ticket-buying facilities, personal security while using stations and connections with other train journeys were among a long list of aspects of rail travel passengers felt had improved.

And three per cent more passengers felt the amount of room to sit and stand had increased, despite growing concern about overcrowding on the busiest services.

The only three specific aspects of rail travel showing a deterioration were car parking facilities, facilities and services at station and the helpfulness and attitude of staff on the train.

Mr Smith said value for money remained one of the most significant concerns for passengers, a worry for over half of those surveyed.

"With our research showing that value for money is passengers' number one priority surely this must be addressed by the industry?" he asked.

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