‘One of worst rail oper­a­tors’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Southeastern Survey -

South­east­ern has once again been dubbed one of the worst rail oper­a­tors in the coun­try, a Which? sur­vey has re­vealed.

Just days af­ter a na­tional rail pas­sen­ger sur­vey re­vealed just 75% of cus­tomers were sat­is­fied over­all with their ser­vice, a new poll has re­vealed an even worse fig­ure.

The Which? sur­vey showed just 46% of those polled were happy with the Kent train provider.

That ranked it as joint worst in the coun­try, with Thames­link and Great North­ern far­ing as badly.

Nati o nal l y , c o mmuters claimed they were still suf­fer­ing a bad ser­vice, with oper­a­tors not in­form­ing pas­sen­gers when they’re due com­pen­sa­tion.

The poll ques­tioned nearly 7,000 rail pas­sen­gers in to­tal, with 733 of those us­ing the South­east­ern ser­vice.

South­east­ern notched up its low­est scores for clean­li­ness and value for money.

Now Which? is sub­mit­ting a dossier of pas­sen­ger case stud­ies to the Of­fice of Rail Regulation de­tail­ing the “poor con­di­tions” faced by rail pas­sen­gers.

Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Richard Lloyd said: “Our re­port shows that com­muters are get­ting a raw deal from their train op­er­a­tor.

“Whether it’s dirty fa­cil­i­ties on the train, over­crowd­ing or de­layed trains, it is clear oper­a­tors need to up their game.

“Rail oper­a­tors need to do much more to treat their cus­tomers fairly, pro­vid­ing bet­ter in­for­ma­tion and ac­cess to com­pen­sa­tion when pas­sen­gers are de­layed.

“Pas­sen­gers want to see ac­tion taken to make rail de­lay re­funds eas­ier and we have asked the reg­u­la­tor to in­ves­ti­gate us­ing our su­per-com­plaint pow­ers.”

A South­east­ern spokesman said: “While the Which? re­port ques­tioned fewer pas­sen­gers than the re­cent Na­tional Rail Pas­sen­ger Sur­vey (NRPS) – which shows our over­all cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion rate at 75 per cent – both clearly in­di­cate we have much more to do.

“We’re part way through a £70 mil­lion in­vest­ment pro­gramme, re­fur­bish­ing our trains and sta­tions, pro­vid­ing more front line em­ploy­ees for pas­sen­gers, im­prov­ing cus­tomer ser­vice train­ing and pro­vid­ing more real time in­for­ma­tion dur­ing jour­neys.

“The NRPS sur­vey showed pas­sen­gers have no­ticed, as sat­is­fac­tion in th­ese ar­eas has risen, but punc­tu­al­ity is the key driver of sat­is­fac­tion for most.

“Along with Net­work Rail who look af­ter rail­way in­fra­struc­ture such as track and sig­nalling, we’re work­ing hard to im­prove punc­tu­al­ity and min­imise de­lays.”

The spokesman said the firm was ac­tively pro­mot­ing the De­lay Re­pay scheme on­line, by so­cial me­dia such as Twit­ter, in me­dia an­nounce­ments and on sta­tion posters.

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

A South­east­ern com­muter train pass­ing through Ash­ford

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