We all have our own individual train horror stories, but is satisfaction with our railways declining across the board? Our research suggests it is…
We gave evidence to the Transport Select Committee in September on the impact of the May timetable changes on the passenger experience.
The Committee’s report, published today, found that no-one took responsibility for fixing the timetable mess and that blame for the appalling delays, cancellations and lack of information endured by passengers lies across the sector.
Research showed that less than a fifth of passengers affected by the recent timetable chaos said they were told about their right to claim for disruption to their journey.
Recognising the need for support when things go wrong, the committee backed our long-standing calls for automatic compensation to be urgently introduced across the board.
The rail regulator is also examining the issues that caused the chaos in May and is expected to publish its final report and recommendations later this month.
Following the government’s own analysis, the Secretary of State announced today that GTR will make no profit from its franchise in this financial year. The government has also capped the amount of profit that the operator is able to make for the remainder of its franchise, which is due to expire in September 2021.
Were you caught up in the timetable chaos? Did you claim compensation? Let us know how you feel the situation was handled.
Feel like your station is the least reliable in Britain? If you commute from Manchester’s Oxford Road station, then you’d be right.
Today, we’ve revealed the UK’s most disrupted railway stations. To find them, we considered how many departures and arrivals were cancelled or at least one minute late (the industry’s measure of punctuality is five or 10 minutes late, depending on distance and region).
What’s the worst experience you’ve had on Britain’s trains? Share your stories with us here and use #TrainPain on Twitter.
Delays and cancellations have impacted the everyday lives of passengers for far too long.
From missed birthdays to bedtimes to job interviews — we want to know what #TrainPain is costing you.
— Which? (@WhichUK) October 16, 2018
Value for money?
Passenger satisfaction with the railways has dropped over the last decade while fares have ballooned, our new analysis showed today.
Satisfaction with punctuality and reliability has fallen by 6% over the past 10 years (from 79% in 2008 to 73% this year) our analysis of Transport Focus’s data showed.
For commuters, that satisfaction has dropped even more markedly, sliding by 10% (from 72% in 2008 to 62% today).
Satisfaction with value for money remains low, at 46%, having increased by just three percentage points over the decade for all passengers.
For commuters there’s been only a marginal rise in appallingly low satisfaction levels, from 30% in 2008 to 31% now.
During the same period rail fares have grown by over 40% – more than one and a half times higher than the overall rate of CPI inflation (26%) – for the same period.
Trust in tatters
Trust in the rail industry is at its lowest point in nearly six years, according to our Consumer Insight Tracker.
Only 23% of people have trust in train travel. And this is six percentage points less than last year.
This makes train travel one of the least-trusted consumer industries, beaten to last place only by car dealers.
Auto comp call
But the data’s perhaps not entirely surprising, given over 110,000 of you have now signed our petition demanding a better rail service.
So what’s to be done about our stagnating and increasingly expensive railways? Train companies need to get their act together and the government needs to make them.
We want trains to work for passengers, not just for train companies. That’s why today we’re calling on the government to introduce automatic compensation for all passengers who experience delays and cancellations.
Claiming compensation is a time-consuming and often complicated process, meaning too many people just don’t claim. Making it automatic would send a real message to our train operators and make sure passengers always get the compensation that they are owed.