Less than half of South West Trains passengers are satisfied with the service

Less than half of South West Trains passengers are satisfied with the service

Less than half of South West Trains passengers are satisfied with the service

First published in News
Last updated

Passenger satisfaction levels have dipped below 50% for the majority of train companies, according to a Which? survey of more than 7,000 regular travellers.

For two companies - Greater Anglia and Southeastern - the satisfaction score was only 40%.

South West Trains came near the bottom after only 45% of customers said they were satisfied, according to the study.

Ten of the 19 companies had satisfaction scores of less than 50%, with Merseyrail (70%) the best-performing company.

The survey, conducted among 7,415 UK adults in November 2013 also showed:

  • 16% of all passengers experienced a delay on their last journey, with this figure rising to 26% for commuters;
  • 21% of commuters said they were likely to have stood on their last journey
  • 11% said toilets were not in good working order. This rose to 20% for London Midland , 19% for Southeastern and 17% for First Capital Connect (FCC):
  • 11% said they had cause to complain about the last journey they had taken, but 75% did not officially complain. Of those who did complain, more than half (55%) were dissatisfied with how it was handled.

The overall satisfaction scores were based on satisfaction with a company and the likelihood of customers recommending the company. 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 (60%), with 80% saying fares were too high.

People also wanted to see more carriages at peak times (35%), promotions on ticket prices (29%), wi-fi as standard (20%) and improved punctuality and reliability (18% - rising to 29% for commuters only.)

A total of 12% said they want cleaner trains, with FCC and Greater Anglia getting the lowest scores for cleanliness.

However, more than half (53%) said they would not mind paying more if they saw an improvement in service in return.

Half (49%) would pay more for a more reliable service, and a similar number (48%) would pay more to guarantee a seat.

A total of 42% would pay more if the money went towards new trains.

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.

"Seven rail franchises end in the next two years and we want to see passengers' experiences put right at the heart of the tender process so companies respond to consumer expectations and can be held to account if they don't."

Martin Abrams public transport campaigner for the Campaign for Better Transport, said: ''The Which? survey shows deepening levels of dissatisfaction with many train services.

"Passengers want cheaper, simpler tickets, clean stations and an end to chronic overcrowding.

''We need to learn from franchises like Merseyrail and London Overground which have bucked the national trend.

"These show that investment coupled with a stronger local voice in how services are managed can significantly improve passenger satisfaction. ''

A spokesperson for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance said: "We are always pleased to get feedback from our customers to help build on the work we are doing to drive up the quality of rail travel.

"The results of the Which online poll are based on relatively small sample sizes and only cover a fraction of the 210 million passengers who travel with us each year.

"By comparison, independent watchdog Passenger Focus surveys up to eight times as many people a year.

"Last month, this independent passenger survey demonstrated that 81% of passengers were satisfied with South West Trains, with only 5% of passengers expressing dissatisfaction with their service.

"However, we are not complacent and we take into account all passenger feedback as part of our commitment to deliver a better railway for passengers.”

These were the overall satisfaction scores by company:

COMPANY PERCENTAGE

1. Merseyrail 70%

2. Chiltern 69%

3. c2c 67%

4. Virgin Trains 64%

5. East Coast 59%

6. London Overground 58%

7. ScotRail 56%

8. CrossCountry 52%

9. East Midlands Trains 50%

10= First TransPennine Express 48%

10= Arriva Trains Wales 48%

12. London Midland 47%

13= Southern 46%

13= Northern 46%

15= First Great Western 45%

15= South West Trains 45%

17. First Capital Connect 41%

18= Greater Anglia 40%

18= Southeastern 40%

Comments (9)

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5:57am Mon 17 Feb 14

nervousbumskin420 says...

southwest trains are by far the worst! in the past 6 months, i can't remember one time that i have caught a train that has been on time! not only that, but the majority of the time, i pay full price, to be wedged in the ailse, standing up! and for the price of a ticket, its completely unacceptable! sort it out SWT!
southwest trains are by far the worst! in the past 6 months, i can't remember one time that i have caught a train that has been on time! not only that, but the majority of the time, i pay full price, to be wedged in the ailse, standing up! and for the price of a ticket, its completely unacceptable! sort it out SWT! nervousbumskin420
  • Score: 5

8:44am Mon 17 Feb 14

Gozza1 says...

I commuted by SWT from Southampton to London daily, for six years. In that time, I stood twice, both times because I'd been delayed at work and jumped on the train at the last second.

The only times I had serious delays were weather conditions, suicides on the line, or Pikeys nicking signal cable, all of which are outside the train company's control. Yes, you get delayed on the train - but it's still miles easier than doing Southampton - Central London by road.
I commuted by SWT from Southampton to London daily, for six years. In that time, I stood twice, both times because I'd been delayed at work and jumped on the train at the last second. The only times I had serious delays were weather conditions, suicides on the line, or Pikeys nicking signal cable, all of which are outside the train company's control. Yes, you get delayed on the train - but it's still miles easier than doing Southampton - Central London by road. Gozza1
  • Score: 3

9:19am Mon 17 Feb 14

camerajuan says...

Case and point - the 0800 from Soton Central to London Waterloo today left after 0820. Between the Airport and Winchester, the guard came on to say that they were no longer stopping at Basingstoke and Woking to make up time. Passengers for these stations had to change at Winchester and get the DELAYED XC Train (B'Stoke only) or the 0830 from Soton, which was on time but is a stopping service.

So the delay to dozens of passengers trying to get to these stations before 9am became near impossible thanks to SWT pandering to the London commmuters/passenger
s.

Ridiculous!

Also, an air freshener in the toilets wouldn't go a miss. Walking past them is bad enough but for passengers who have to stand in the gangway between the carriages, I'm very surprised they don't throw up more often.
Case and point - the 0800 from Soton Central to London Waterloo today left after 0820. Between the Airport and Winchester, the guard came on to say that they were no longer stopping at Basingstoke and Woking to make up time. Passengers for these stations had to change at Winchester and get the DELAYED XC Train (B'Stoke only) or the 0830 from Soton, which was on time but is a stopping service. So the delay to dozens of passengers trying to get to these stations before 9am became near impossible thanks to SWT pandering to the London commmuters/passenger s. Ridiculous! Also, an air freshener in the toilets wouldn't go a miss. Walking past them is bad enough but for passengers who have to stand in the gangway between the carriages, I'm very surprised they don't throw up more often. camerajuan
  • Score: 1

9:35am Mon 17 Feb 14

Shoong says...

I've been using SWT for 2 years now between Winchester & Southampton and I would say the service is good 99% of the time.

Of course if you were unlucky enough to be late for work recently or late for a job interview you are going to hold a grudge.
I've been using SWT for 2 years now between Winchester & Southampton and I would say the service is good 99% of the time. Of course if you were unlucky enough to be late for work recently or late for a job interview you are going to hold a grudge. Shoong
  • Score: 2

10:04am Mon 17 Feb 14

10 Minute Man says...

I suspect it depends on which station you get on board. I haven't commuted long term from Southampton but quite a few trips in the last year.
Joining a 7am or 7:30am train at Southampton Central: all good, definitely get a seat
Joining at Airport Parkway - antsy stressed people queuing in an orderly manner at the place the train doors will open. 90% of people get a seat.

Joining at Winchester - you're standing all the way, sunshine. That would really grate on my nerves, the idea of thousands of pounds for a season ticket and basically never getting a seat. Although the people there looked resigned to their fate.
I suspect it depends on which station you get on board. I haven't commuted long term from Southampton but quite a few trips in the last year. Joining a 7am or 7:30am train at Southampton Central: all good, definitely get a seat Joining at Airport Parkway - antsy stressed people queuing in an orderly manner at the place the train doors will open. 90% of people get a seat. Joining at Winchester - you're standing all the way, sunshine. That would really grate on my nerves, the idea of thousands of pounds for a season ticket and basically never getting a seat. Although the people there looked resigned to their fate. 10 Minute Man
  • Score: 1

12:30pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Shoong says...

10 Minute Man wrote:
I suspect it depends on which station you get on board. I haven't commuted long term from Southampton but quite a few trips in the last year.
Joining a 7am or 7:30am train at Southampton Central: all good, definitely get a seat
Joining at Airport Parkway - antsy stressed people queuing in an orderly manner at the place the train doors will open. 90% of people get a seat.

Joining at Winchester - you're standing all the way, sunshine. That would really grate on my nerves, the idea of thousands of pounds for a season ticket and basically never getting a seat. Although the people there looked resigned to their fate.
Tip - the 1st carriage is usually split 70/30 First class & standard.
Many assume the first carriage is all 1st class so there is usually some standard available - apologies if I'm telling you something you already know!
[quote][p][bold]10 Minute Man[/bold] wrote: I suspect it depends on which station you get on board. I haven't commuted long term from Southampton but quite a few trips in the last year. Joining a 7am or 7:30am train at Southampton Central: all good, definitely get a seat Joining at Airport Parkway - antsy stressed people queuing in an orderly manner at the place the train doors will open. 90% of people get a seat. Joining at Winchester - you're standing all the way, sunshine. That would really grate on my nerves, the idea of thousands of pounds for a season ticket and basically never getting a seat. Although the people there looked resigned to their fate.[/p][/quote]Tip - the 1st carriage is usually split 70/30 First class & standard. Many assume the first carriage is all 1st class so there is usually some standard available - apologies if I'm telling you something you already know! Shoong
  • Score: 1

12:32pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Epitoth says...

Not shocked by these results sadly. My train from Swanwick to Southampton central is delayed 3/5 times a week and canceled at least once every three weeks. I often don't get a seat.

I'm surprised so many would pay more to get a seat or get a reliable train service though. This is something we should get without paying more than the already very high train prices.
Not shocked by these results sadly. My train from Swanwick to Southampton central is delayed 3/5 times a week and canceled at least once every three weeks. I often don't get a seat. I'm surprised so many would pay more to get a seat or get a reliable train service though. This is something we should get without paying more than the already very high train prices. Epitoth
  • Score: 3

1:01pm Mon 17 Feb 14

georgetheseventh says...

And yet we are going to waste upward of 80 billion on a yuppie HS2 rail system to save the chosen few aprox. 20 mins per journey.
Thats just long enough for an extra cup of coffee.
And yet we are going to waste upward of 80 billion on a yuppie HS2 rail system to save the chosen few aprox. 20 mins per journey. Thats just long enough for an extra cup of coffee. georgetheseventh
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Mon 17 Feb 14

NewForestStu says...

South West Trains are abysmal in my mind. Whist their Rolling Stock i have to admit their Rolling Stock in my area is good (in the main) i do really object to the way they go about their business.

I fully appreciate there will always be pikeys and fare dodgers however, SWT really do make you feel simply as a revenue stream. The amount of times the guards now harass you to check tickets is unbelievable, i mean.....once they have seen your ticket why keep asking you to see it again and again. Funny though, when the trains are majorly delayed (as was Friday last) you never see a guard for toffee (sepecially when no reason for the delays have been announced).

Unfortunately for SWT they appear a bit in limbo. Whilst they would love to do away with guards and the gestappo inspectors they know that without tunrstiles at every station they cannot do without them. AS for the comment in a National Paper a while back i completely agree that SWT simply treat all customers as 'persons trying to fraud their company'.

News for you SWT, we are not all fare dodgers and this basis should not be treated as such. How about you focus more on getting the bl**dy trains to run on time and not putting all your efforts into getting your guards to p*ss people off by continuosly pestering them for their tickets.

I have always said i would love SWT to lose the franchise however as the one of the ticket guys at my local station says 'what difference will it make, you simply will end up with a new company running the franchise with the same pill*cks in middle management coninuing to run the operations!!!'.
South West Trains are abysmal in my mind. Whist their Rolling Stock i have to admit their Rolling Stock in my area is good (in the main) i do really object to the way they go about their business. I fully appreciate there will always be pikeys and fare dodgers however, SWT really do make you feel simply as a revenue stream. The amount of times the guards now harass you to check tickets is unbelievable, i mean.....once they have seen your ticket why keep asking you to see it again and again. Funny though, when the trains are majorly delayed (as was Friday last) you never see a guard for toffee (sepecially when no reason for the delays have been announced). Unfortunately for SWT they appear a bit in limbo. Whilst they would love to do away with guards and the gestappo inspectors they know that without tunrstiles at every station they cannot do without them. AS for the comment in a National Paper a while back i completely agree that SWT simply treat all customers as 'persons trying to fraud their company'. News for you SWT, we are not all fare dodgers and this basis should not be treated as such. How about you focus more on getting the bl**dy trains to run on time and not putting all your efforts into getting your guards to p*ss people off by continuosly pestering them for their tickets. I have always said i would love SWT to lose the franchise however as the one of the ticket guys at my local station says 'what difference will it make, you simply will end up with a new company running the franchise with the same pill*cks in middle management coninuing to run the operations!!!'. NewForestStu
  • Score: -1

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