Train operators are bottom of the class

31/1/14- Battle Railway Station ENGSUS00120140131122839
31/1/14- Battle Railway Station ENGSUS00120140131122839

Train operator Southeastern has been placed rock-bottom in a new passenger satisfaction survey.

The National Rail Passenger Survey asked more than 27,000 passengers what they thought of their most recent journey.

The results, which were released last week, revealed just 77 per cent of passengers were satisfied with Southern, which runs trains on the Marshlink line through Rye, putting the operator at joint second from the bottom with Govia Thameslink.

Southeastern, which runs services between Hastings and Charing Cross, through Battle and Robertsbridge, came bottom of the poll, with just 74 percent.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Passenger Focus, said: “Rail passengers’ satisfaction is driven by getting trains on time.

“Many are being let down - fare increases, billions in government investment and promises of improvement don’t seem to be delivering change on the ground.”

He said that for some train timetables were just ‘a work of fiction’ and called for an ‘honest and open debate’ on rail services.

Southern deputy managing director David Scorey said: “While it is encouraging that we scored better overall this year over last, we are still a long way off where we would like to be.

“Clearly poor performance links heavily with overall satisfaction and that has produced a mediocre score.

“Unfortunately, the challenging constraints at London Bridge have played a major part in the challenge to deliver good performance but we are determined to do everything we can to improve our day to day punctuality.

“Together with Network Rail we are working on an enhanced improvement plan to drive performance up.

“On the bright side, there are some very encouraging scores in some of the key areas where we have been focussing our efforts to improve, such as better station facilities, improved on-train toilet availability, customer service and how our trains are presented.”

Southeastern passenger satisfaction is likely to be affected by the land-slips which closed the line for long periods during the winter of 2014 and Autumn line closures between Battle and Robertsbridge.