Most commuters have seen 'no improvement in train service'

The vast majority of commuters have seen no improvement in their train service over the past year, according to a new poll.

Some 67% of commuters think the service from their train company has stayed the same and 13% believe it has got worse, the research for consumer group Which? found.

Just one in five (20%) respondents have noticed an improvement.

Worst scores in Which? rail passenger satisfaction survey (PA)
Worst scores in Which? rail passenger satisfaction survey (PA)

Southern achieved a customer satisfaction score of just 28%, putting it in last place for the third year running in the annual survey.

The operator scored just one star out of five for value for money, reliability and punctuality, and two stars for all other categories.

More than a third (37%) of Southern commuters think the service has got worse in the past 12 months.

The National Audit Office said last week that the Department for Transport made decisions in setting up the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise which "have negatively impacted on passengers".

High levels of disruption for passengers mean that, to date, the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern rail franchise has not delivered value for money. Read our latest report: https://t.co/YzwC1PKRl8#valueformoney#NAOorg#goviathameslinkpic.twitter.com/K2J5HWh927

-- NationalAuditOffice (@NAOorguk) January 10, 2018

Grand Central topped the Which? table, receiving an overall score of 64% and four stars in all categories.

A total of 2,865 UK commuters were polled in October and November.

The findings come a fortnight before passenger watchdog Transport Focus releases its latest passenger satisfaction figures, which are based on responses from around 25,000 rail travellers.

Its latest report found that 83% of passengers are satisfied with rail travel, although this falls to 77% for commuters.

Alex Hayman, managing director of public markets for Which?, said: "Fares are going up but frustrated and long suffering passengers affected by seemingly never ending delays, cancellations and dirty trains don't feel that their services are getting any better.

"The problems don't stop there. People are also finding it difficult to claim compensation when things go wrong. Automatic compensation must be introduced across the industry so that people can get the money they are owed."

Jacqueline Starr, a managing director at the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train companies and Network Rail, said: "Rail companies continue to work together with a long-term plan to change and improve services further.

"The partnership railway of the public and private sectors is doing more to improve journeys, better connect communities and boost the economy."

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