Research names Great Northern and Thameslink ‘worst train services’

Great Northern and Thameslink are named among worst train operators. Picture: DANNY LOO.

Great Northern and Thameslink are named among worst train operators. Picture: DANNY LOO. - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Great Northern and Thameslink have been named two of the UK’s three worst train operators, according to Tempcover.

The companies - which are owned by Govia and serve Hertfordshire and beyond - have come under fire for not meeting standards expected by passengers.

The statistics are based on over 3.2 million tweets and sentiment data collected between May 31, 2018, and June 1, 2019, coinciding with the timetable chaos which landed parent company Govia Thameslink with a £5 million fine.

Frequent strikes, congested inner-city roads and train services running at an uncomfortable capacity prompted the study, as disgruntled passengers took to social media to express their feelings.

Of a survey of over 92,000 Great Northern passengers, only 29 per cent said they were happy with the service provided, with a further 66 per cent also saying their experiences made them angry.

Thameslink received similar feedback, with 70 per cent of 140,000 commuters expressing their disdain in the company.

A spokesman for Govia Thameslink Railway said: "Our own more comprehensive research shows that well over half of social media activity about Great Northern and Thameslink was positive or neutral in the period.

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"However, we acknowledge that passengers using these routes were among the most affected by the industry-wide issues surrounding the timetable changes in May last year."

Bus operator Arriva was also named as one of the nation's worst bus operators.

On a national scale, of over 53,000 surveyed customers, 61 per cent had a negative response to Arriva's services.

In the Shires and Essex region, which covers Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire services, Arriva received a 70 per cent negative rating.

Responding, an Arriva Herts and Essex spokesperson said: "At Arriva, our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and their experience of travelling on our services is of paramount importance to us. While the results of this survey are disappointing, we take all feedback and criticism constructively and will of course seek to learn from it.

"We are heartened that within the last set of Passenger Focus survey results, which are compiled annually from impartial one-to-one on board customer interaction, Arriva scored 87 per cent overall satisfaction nationally."

For more information and to view the interactive table, visit

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