Southern Rail passengers face most delays

London train

Train commuters in south-east England are the most likely to experience delays on their journey, new research from Which? has revealed.

Its annual passenger satisfaction survey paints a grim picture for commuters, with 39% of customers of Southern Rail suffering a delay on their last journey, followed by South Eastern, Thameslink and Great Northern/First Capital Connect and First Great Western, all of which had 33% of passengers delayed on their last trip.

Across the UK, three in 10 passengers (29%) said they suffered a delay on their last journey, while 75% of those held up for more than an hour said they were not told that this meant they would qualify for a full refund for their trip.

The survey, based on the responses of more than 7,300 passengers, is based on factors such as customers' satisfaction, punctuality, value for money and cleanliness. Overall, the six lowest-scoring operators for overall satisfaction were the ones covering commuter routes in London and the South East.

Thameslink and Great Northern/First Capital Connect recorded the worst overall satisfaction score, with just 43% of passengers stating they were happy with their service, followed by South Eastern (44%), Southern (46%) and Great Anglia (46%), First Great Western (47%) and South West Trains (48%).

Dismal performance

The dismal performance comes after the cost of regulated fares and season tickets rose by 2.5% in January - meaning some commuters travelling into central London now fork-out more than £5,000 for their season tickets.

The best-scoring firms were two small operators. Grand Central and First Hull Trains, both of which run services between London and northern England and scored 76% and 69% respectively for overall satisfaction.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, said: "Long delays and consistently low levels of customer service are driving commuters to distraction.

"Passengers often have little or no choice as to the rail companies they travel with, so as ticket prices continue to rocket, more must be done to improve customers' satisfaction and to inform people of their right to a refund as a result of delays."

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