Passenger satisfaction with the railways has remained low over the last decade, ‘as fares have spiralled’, according to Which?
The consumer group said its analysis of Transport Focus data ‘found there has been little meaningful improvement in passenger satisfaction, with value for money across all the train operators rising just 7 percentage points overall in a decade from 41% to 48%’.
It said satisfaction levels among commuters were even lower at 34%, having also improved by only 7% over ten years.
Passenger satisfaction with rail services has risen slowly
Which? pointed out that rail fares increased by 54% over the same period, more than double the rate of inflation, and said there has been little positive change in passenger satisfaction over how delays are dealt with - only a 4% increase to 39% since 2006.
Last December it lodged a super-complaint to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) calling for urgent improvements to make it easier for passengers to claim refunds for rail delays and cancellations.
Two weeks ago, the ORR published its response, recommending better information and stronger monitoring of standards.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, said: ‘Despite repeated claims that the railways are improving, passengers say that rail travel offers little more value for money than a decade ago.
‘What’s more, people have found even less of an improvement in the way train companies handle delays. This is an unacceptably slow pace of change, so the Government must quickly now give the rail regulator the powers and duties it needs to be an independent consumer watchdog that can hold train operators to account.’
A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said: 'Overall satisfaction among rail passengers is up significantly according to the latest independent survey by Transport Focus and by a large margin compared with a decade ago. But we know that we can do better to run more trains on time more often.'