Great Northern and Thameslink in bottom five for customer satisfaction

The new trains. Picture: Great Northern.

The new trains. Picture: Great Northern. - Credit: Archant

Great Northern and Thameslink rail services have both seen a decline in customer satisfaction according to a survey by independent transport watchdog, Transport Focus.

A Thameslink train. Picture: Danny Loo.

A Thameslink train. Picture: Danny Loo. - Credit: Archant

According to the results of a questionnaire, Great Northern had the lowest overall satisfaction of all 25 rail operators across the UK, at 68 per cent, while Thameslink was in the bottom five at 77 per cent.

The number of passengers who rated the services for punctuality and reliability as ‘satisfied’ or ‘good’ declined by 13 per cent for Thameslink, and 14 per cent for Great Northern since last spring.

Patrick Verwer – chief executive of Govia Thameslink, which runs both services – said: “The results reflect the significant disruption passengers experienced following the May timetable change which was caused by industry-wide factors. Punctuality and reliability for our passengers are now firmly back on track, at higher levels than a year ago.

“We are now running 400 more daily services, with space for 50,000 more commuters to and from London.

“This May we will be adding still more services between Brighton and Cambridge, and on Great Northern we are about to replace Britain’s oldest electric trains with a brand new air-conditioned fleet.

“We are improving the way we help passengers when services don’t run on time and our frontline staff have new devices to share latest information.”

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The survey results also found that 36 per cent of respondents believed punctuality and reliability had the biggest impact on their overall satisfaction, while how train companies dealt with delays contributed to dissatisfaction, at 48 per cent.

Passengers from across Herts, Beds and South Cambs suffered with major delays and cancellations following the introduction of a new timetable in May last year.

Other train companies in the bottom five for satisfaction included TransPennine Express, Greater Anglia and Northern services, while the top five for satisfaction were Heathrow Express, Grand Central, Chiltern Railways, Hull Trains and Virgin Trains – to which passengers gave a 90 per cent overall satisfaction rating, while 84 per cent of respondents saying they were satisfied with its punctuality and reliability.

Click here to read the full list of results.

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