Sheffield train passengers call for improved services

Passengers have voiced disappointment with some services usng Sheffield rail station
Passengers have voiced disappointment with some services usng Sheffield rail station
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Passenger satisfaction levels have dipped below 50 per cent for the majority of rail companies used by South Yorkshire travellers.

Northern Rail was the lowest scoring firm in South Yorkshire in the survey of 7,000 regular train users, with 46 per cent of travellers satisfied with its services.

FirstTranspennine Express scored 48 per cent and East Midlands Trains, which operates between South Yorkshire and London, achieved 50 per cent in the survey by Which?.

CrossCountry scored 52 per cent.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “It’s disappointing to see some train companies consistently falling down on the basics of customer service, with dirty and overcrowded carriages and toilets that don’t work.”

The survey of 7,415 Yorkshire adults in November also showed:

n 16 per cent of all passengers experienced a delay on their last journey, rising to 26 per cent for commuters;

n 21 per cent of commuters said they were likely to have stood on their last journey;

n 11 per cent said toilets were not in good working order. This rose to 20 per cent for London Midland;

n 11 per cent said they had cause to complain about their last journey, but 75 per cent did not officially complain. Of those who did, more than half were dissatisfied with its handling.

On average, those surveyed had travelled by train 32 times in the previous 12 months.

Which? also asked what passengers felt would improve their journeys and what they would be prepared to pay more for.

Lower ticket prices were top of the wanted list at 60 per cent, with 80 per cent saying fares were too high.

Some 35 per cent of people also wanted to see more carriages at peak times.

Improved punctuality and reliability was a priority for 18 per cent of customers – rising to 29 per cent among commuters.

Twelve per cent of passengers said they wanted cleaner trains.

More than half of those surveyed – 53 per cent – said they would not mind paying more if they saw an improvement in service.

A spokesman for the rail industry body, the Rail Delivery Group, said: “We are always keen to get feedback from customers, whether good or bad, which has helped the industry attract record numbers of passengers and cut complaints by three-quarters in a decade.”