Train operators ‘less trusted’ than used car salesmen

Scotrail has ranked near the bottom of a UK-wide survey of rail travel carried out by consumer magazine Which?, with a score of just 45 per cent.

By Roy Beers
Friday, 25th January 2019, 11:30 am
Updated Friday, 25th January 2019, 12:39 pm

Across Britain the study found that just under hald of commuters say they find rail travel frequently stressful, with some reporting they have moved house to escape problem-fraught train journeys.

Which? concludes that nationwide punctuality has fallen to its lowest level for 17 years, although Scotrail recently reported a high percentage of trains arriving on time.

Problems down south are still worse than the spate of difficulties which have plagued Scotrail’s attempts to create “the best railway we’ve ever had”, with Northern and Thameslink - suffering from “disastrous” timetable changes - ranked in the bottom three for customer satisfaction, alongside Southern Rail.

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Smaller companies serving fewer passengers scored highest in the survey, with Island Line Trains’ commuters giving it the top customer score of 68 per cent.

However public distrust of the rail industry is said to be continuing to grow, and in the survey has risen five percentage points higher than last year to 32 per cent.

The magazine sais only second hand car dealers are less trusted that rail operators.

Alex Hayman, Which? Managing Director of Public Markets, said: “It is shocking that a modern transport system is allowed to have such a negative impact on the people who rely on it every day.

“Its failures are affecting people’s health and employment, and some are even forced to move home as a result of the disruption.

“If the Government rail review is to have any hope of restoring faith in the system it must listen to passengers, who have too often been an afterthought.

“However, train companies should not wait for the results of the review to take action. The industry must start putting the interests of passengers first to address the chronic issues identified in our survey.”