Southern remains bottom of passenger satisfaction ratings

Crawley railway level crossing just west of the town centre. Pic Steve Robards SR1700737 SUS-170118-121835001
Crawley railway level crossing just west of the town centre. Pic Steve Robards SR1700737 SUS-170118-121835001

Southern remains rock bottom in several major categories in the latest national survey of passenger satisfaction.

Independent watchdog Transport Focus’ data, gathered between September and November last year, showed that just 65 per cent of respondents were satisfied with Southern services, the lowest figure in Britain and down by four per cent since spring 2016.

Southern finished third bottom in value for money, worst for reliability, second bottom behind Gatwick Express for station satisfaction, and joint last for how well it dealt with delays with Thameslink.

However it did improve in one category: whether there was sufficient room for all passengers to sit or stand on its trains.

Govia Thameslink Railway, the operator running Southern trains, has battled union bosses for most of 2016 over its plans to change the role of conductors to on-board supervisors, with staff shortages and industrial action some of the many problems leading to daily misery for passengers throughout the year.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, said: “The results around the country are disappointing. Scottish passengers and those travelling in peak hours in London and the South East are bearing the brunt of poor performance.

“The timetable on parts of the London and South East’s railway can be a work of fiction which passengers cannot rely on.

“As passenger numbers rise, parts of the rail network will remain brittle until welcome improvements are in place and working.

“Southern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Network Rail must continue to collaborate to produce a more robust timetable. Passengers need a better balance between peak and off-peak services, reliability and capacity.”

What do you think of the results? Comment below or email the newsdesk.

Southern have been approached for comment.

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