At the end of last month, we blogged about some revealing figures between the lines of the latest Passenger Focus survey which called into question some of the claims made by ATOC and others that rail privatisation has led to record passenger satisfaction levels.
So it struck us as no surprise to see the findings of the latest Which? survey, as reported by a range of papers today, including The Guardian.
As The Guardian reports:
Half of the train companies had a customer satisfaction score of 50% or lower, while overall, only 22% of train users felt the service they received was improving, despite an inflation-busting increase in average season ticket prices of 4.2%.
Spokesmen for ATOC and First Group (who come out of this particularly badly) are right to point out the wide discrepencies between headline figures in the Passenger Focus and Which? surveys.
But, as we pointed out before, behind the general satisfaction findings, the Passenger Focus survey finds some very underwhelming responses around key issues of value for money and staffing levels. And these figures tally very closely with the findings of Which?
With massive levels of public funding (well Network Rail debt to be more precise), its no wonder that passengers tend to find their service generally good.
But on the key issues that private Train Operators are supposed to bring to the table, customer service and value for money, they are found decidedly wanting.