Train company given a low rating in report

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SOUTHERN Railway, the main train operator for East Sussex, has one of the lowest overall satisfaction ratings in a national passenger survey.

Passenger Focus, an independent rail watchdog, has just published its Spring 2012 survey looking at the experiences of passengers on 23 UK train companies - done between January 28 and March 30 2012.

Southern issued a press release focusing solely on page 57 of the 64-page report, giving a ‘good/satisfied’ rating for the value for money on Advance tickets during the past 12 months.

Alex Foulds, Southern’s development director, Alex Foulds said: “Of course we are absolutely delighted, but not surprised that our Advance fares are the best value for money in the UK and have been for the last 12 months. When you consider that we are currently offering London to Brighton from only £4 online at southernrailway.com, why would you want to travel any other way?”

Southern, for reasons unknown, did not publish other details in the report which showed a more negative slant.

But the Sussex Express went to the original source to see what else it said about Southern. There were other positive ratings – the speed of journeys for example (83 per cent satisfied/good).

But the ‘Key Findings’ overall for the whole report found that Southern was listed amongst lowest ratings for overall satisfaction amongst the train companies, with only 80 per cent satisfied/good.

Nearly a third (28 per cent) of those surveyed said facilities and service were poor or they were dissatisfied – under a half said it was good (48 per cent)

Value for money for the price of your ticket and facilities for car parking were both given a ‘dissatisfied or poor’ rating for 41 per cent of respondents– and only between 38 and 40 per were satisfied.

The figures for the same poor/dissatisfied rating also show concerns about toilet facilities (45 per cent); how well the train company deals with delays (30 per cent); and the availability of staff (33 per cent).

Only 66 per cent gave a ‘satisfied or good’ rating for ‘sufficient room for all the passengers to sit/stand’.