Passengers praise region’s rail firms

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RAIL firms serving South Yorkshire have been highly rated in the latest passenger survey – but users say prices are too high and want more carriages.

Watchdog organisation Passenger Focus praised East Midlands Trains after they found 86 per cent of passengers were satisfied with its services. The company was also commended for spending £40 million improving stations and trains, with better facilities, including toilets, waiting areas and on-board luggage space.

The company provides trains from Sheffield to London and between Liverpool and Norwich, which call at Sheffield and Chesterfield.

David Horne, Commercial and Customer Service Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “It’s very pleasing that the results of our £40 million station and train investment programme are continuing to make a difference to passengers.

“We’ve worked extremely hard to improve every aspect of the passenger journey and these latest results are a clear sign that this investment is really helping to improve satisfaction with our services.

“However, we remain focused on getting even better and making sure satisfaction with all aspects of our train service continues to improve.”

Meanwhile, First TransPennine Express had a 92 per cent overall satisfaction rating for its service from Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport, through Doncaster and Sheffield. Customers praised the service they receive when travelling on board, frequency of trains, punctuality and the length of journeys.

Edith Rodgers, customer services director for the firm, said: “We are delighted with the response from passengers.

“Our satisfaction ratings have improved continuously since 2004 and it is pleasing to know that our customers are able to take advantage of the great service we strive to provide.”

Northern Rail, which runs the bulk of South Yorkshire’s local services, had a satisfaction rating of 83 per cent.

Scores for the other two operators in the county were 87 per cent for East Coast and 85 per cent for Cross Country.

The research, which canvassed the opinion of more than 27,000 passengers, was conducted in spring 2011. Overall, 84 per cent of passengers were satisfied with services in the country but there were complaints about ticket prices and overcrowding.