Train services are criticised

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COMMUTERS have named the two companies that provide train services from 1066 Country to London as some of the worst in the country.

In a survey conducted by Which? Southeastern, which runs trains from Hastings to London Charing Cross via Battle, was rated third worst in the UK.

It got a 43 per cent satisfaction rating out of a total of 541 passengers surveyed.

Southern, the firm that operates trains between Hastings, Rye, Brighton, and London Victoria was named seventh worst out of the 19 train companies featured. It scored a 48 per cent satisfaction rating out of the 550 customers surveyed.

Which? interviewed 7,000 rail users across the UK. They were asked questions on ticket prices and cleanliness, as well as other topics like space.

Rail bosses at both train firms questioned the accuracy of the Which? statistics.

Alison Nolan, spokeswoman for Southeastern, said: “While we’re always interested in constructive feedback, this survey is highly subjective. Which? has based this result on an online self-selecting survey of 541 customers of which only 205 were commuters. This sample size represents only 0.1 percent of our customers. The independent watchdog Passenger Focus surveyed thousands of passengers at stations and on trains last year and reported a record high 84 per cent are satisfied with our service.”

Around 570,000 passengers use Southeastern trains daily, she said.

She added: “Since we commenced running the franchise, we’ve increased the number of train services, refurbished stations, and enhanced CCTV and security. Our trains are also now more punctual than ever before. While we can always do better, we’re pleased our customers have noticed an improvement in our service.”

Sarah Evans, spokeswoman for Southern, said: “Passenger Focus conducts its National Passenger survey twice a year and asks questions to a wide variety of train users across the country. In its latest survey last autumn 82 per cent of our passengers said they were satisfied with our service. We do not have sight of the methodology used by Which? for its survey, so it is not possible to comment on it. Having analysed the latest Passenger Focus survey, we know where our passengers have told us we need to improve, and we are focusing our efforts in these areas.”