Which survey reveals passengers are 'fed up with dirty and overcrowded trains'

First Capital Connect came bottom of a rail satisfaction survey

First Capital Connect came bottom of a rail satisfaction survey

First published in News
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Less than half of passengers are satisfied with south-west London’s train operators, according to a new survey.

First Capital Connect (FCC), which runs services via Sutton to central London and Bedfordshire via the Wimbledon Loop, came bottom of a rail satisfaction survey by consumer lobbying group Which.

FCC scored 40 per cent, while South West Trains and Southern also scored below 50 per cent.

Top of the satisfaction table, compiled from responses from 7,500 regular train users, was West Coast main line operator Virgin Trains with 67 per cent.

London Overground, which last year installed a new service from Clapham Junction to West Croydon, was second with 65 per cent.

Which executive director Richard Lloyd said: “With 1.5 billion train journeys made every year and eight of the 17 UK rail franchises up for grabs in the next two years, customer service should be top of the agenda for every train operating company.

“It is good to see some are performing well on service, but customers clearly feel others need to do better.”

“Passengers tell us they are fed up with trains that are delayed, overcrowded and dirty.

"This is especially disappointing as many commuters can’t shop around or change the company they travel with.”

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport union, said: "It is about time these basket-case private train companies like First Capital Connect were booted off Britain's railways for good and their franchises returned to public ownership.

“This current tolerance of these private rail spivs by the Government is reward for total and abject failure on an epic scale."

The shadow transport secretary, Maria Eagle (Labour), said: "While taxpayers continue to fund the rail industry to the tune of £3.5 billion every year, rail companies must do better and the Government needs to hold them to account on behalf of passengers and taxpayers.

"This Government are also approving the closure of many station ticket offices to cut costs, but as this survey shows where people have to rely on machines, they often can't get the best ticket. David Cameron broke his promise to commuters to cap fare rises at 1 per cent above inflation, with some passengers facing fare rises of up to 9.2 per cent."

Which? survey rail satisfaction 2013 for London (and 2012 scores) out of 100
Virgin Trains 67 (64)
East Coast 58 (57)
Southern 48 (44)
South West Trains 47 (47)
London Midland 45 (55)
First Great Western 43 (48)
South Eastern 43 (40)
First Capital Connect 40 (43)

Comments (15)

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11:35am Mon 18 Feb 13

DB says...

I can't believe that Bob Crow has got the cheek to comment on these figures.

His £50k militant train drivers and £30k militant guards are the root cause of plenty of the dissatisfaction in the first place.

There are other bigger problems to be solved, but if we weren't paying the staff 50% more than we should be there would at least be a bit more money in the bank to start looking at them.
I can't believe that Bob Crow has got the cheek to comment on these figures. His £50k militant train drivers and £30k militant guards are the root cause of plenty of the dissatisfaction in the first place. There are other bigger problems to be solved, but if we weren't paying the staff 50% more than we should be there would at least be a bit more money in the bank to start looking at them. DB
  • Score: 0

12:01pm Mon 18 Feb 13

fleggdupree says...

I am so glad I no longer have to travel in and out of London Zone One every working day. Needed to go to St Johns Wood last Thursday for a conference and had to travel in the rush hour, £16.70 for a return ticket, the train was packed, no seat available and of course it was late (albeit by only 10 minutes). Still it is nice to see that they are slowly lengthening the platforms so eventually trains with more carriages will arrive, it will be interesting to see if this really helps with the overcrowding issues, though I personally do not think it will help that much, I still think getting a seat at Twickenham and certainly Richmond will be a luxury!! Must admit I found this very journey very expensive, uncomfortable and well just poor, hard to give it more than 3 out of 10 and hard to justify having had to pay more than £9.50 (that is genuinely what I thought this service was worth) .
I am so glad I no longer have to travel in and out of London Zone One every working day. Needed to go to St Johns Wood last Thursday for a conference and had to travel in the rush hour, £16.70 for a return ticket, the train was packed, no seat available and of course it was late (albeit by only 10 minutes). Still it is nice to see that they are slowly lengthening the platforms so eventually trains with more carriages will arrive, it will be interesting to see if this really helps with the overcrowding issues, though I personally do not think it will help that much, I still think getting a seat at Twickenham and certainly Richmond will be a luxury!! Must admit I found this very journey very expensive, uncomfortable and well just poor, hard to give it more than 3 out of 10 and hard to justify having had to pay more than £9.50 (that is genuinely what I thought this service was worth) . fleggdupree
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Mon 18 Feb 13

djwstn says...

I am not surprised First Capital Connect came bottom. For example last week their trains were out for a full two days because of some overhead line issues. They are regurarly late due to defective trains or line problems, the trains themselves are packed to the point of it being totally uncomfortable and they are really dirty. It's an appalling service for which we as passengers pay, which is very expensive.Every year when we have the train fare rises the same old excuses are trotted out, new rolling stock, improvement on the lines.For four years I have been travelling on a route from Sutton into London and we still have the same grotty trains as we did back in 2009.

We the passengers are being well and truly ripped off
I am not surprised First Capital Connect came bottom. For example last week their trains were out for a full two days because of some overhead line issues. They are regurarly late due to defective trains or line problems, the trains themselves are packed to the point of it being totally uncomfortable and they are really dirty. It's an appalling service for which we as passengers pay, which is very expensive.Every year when we have the train fare rises the same old excuses are trotted out, new rolling stock, improvement on the lines.For four years I have been travelling on a route from Sutton into London and we still have the same grotty trains as we did back in 2009. We the passengers are being well and truly ripped off djwstn
  • Score: 0

2:14pm Mon 18 Feb 13

DB says...

fleggdupree wrote:
I am so glad I no longer have to travel in and out of London Zone One every working day. Needed to go to St Johns Wood last Thursday for a conference and had to travel in the rush hour, £16.70 for a return ticket, the train was packed, no seat available and of course it was late (albeit by only 10 minutes). Still it is nice to see that they are slowly lengthening the platforms so eventually trains with more carriages will arrive, it will be interesting to see if this really helps with the overcrowding issues, though I personally do not think it will help that much, I still think getting a seat at Twickenham and certainly Richmond will be a luxury!! Must admit I found this very journey very expensive, uncomfortable and well just poor, hard to give it more than 3 out of 10 and hard to justify having had to pay more than £9.50 (that is genuinely what I thought this service was worth) .
I think that the move to 12 coach trains would definitely help with overcrowding, but I wouldn't expect it to happen anytime soon.

Surbiton has had a platform that can take trains this long for years, but still only get 12 coach trains for a very short period during the 'super-peak' times. They are quite happy to charge peak prices for tickets until 9.30 but only provide long trains until 8.30. This morning it was physically impossible to get on the 8.38 departure and that was only 8 coaches long.

The train companies have run out of ideas and funding so they are brining the improvements in as slowly as possible in the hope that people get used to the severe over-crowding and any improvements will be greeted favourably even though they are years overdue.

I know that it was worse under British Rail, but at least there were 20 trains an hour running from Surbiton in those days - now we have half that and they are mostly short formation.
[quote][p][bold]fleggdupree[/bold] wrote: I am so glad I no longer have to travel in and out of London Zone One every working day. Needed to go to St Johns Wood last Thursday for a conference and had to travel in the rush hour, £16.70 for a return ticket, the train was packed, no seat available and of course it was late (albeit by only 10 minutes). Still it is nice to see that they are slowly lengthening the platforms so eventually trains with more carriages will arrive, it will be interesting to see if this really helps with the overcrowding issues, though I personally do not think it will help that much, I still think getting a seat at Twickenham and certainly Richmond will be a luxury!! Must admit I found this very journey very expensive, uncomfortable and well just poor, hard to give it more than 3 out of 10 and hard to justify having had to pay more than £9.50 (that is genuinely what I thought this service was worth) .[/p][/quote]I think that the move to 12 coach trains would definitely help with overcrowding, but I wouldn't expect it to happen anytime soon. Surbiton has had a platform that can take trains this long for years, but still only get 12 coach trains for a very short period during the 'super-peak' times. They are quite happy to charge peak prices for tickets until 9.30 but only provide long trains until 8.30. This morning it was physically impossible to get on the 8.38 departure and that was only 8 coaches long. The train companies have run out of ideas and funding so they are brining the improvements in as slowly as possible in the hope that people get used to the severe over-crowding and any improvements will be greeted favourably even though they are years overdue. I know that it was worse under British Rail, but at least there were 20 trains an hour running from Surbiton in those days - now we have half that and they are mostly short formation. DB
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Mon 18 Feb 13

archibaldthegrim says...

As a freedom Pass holder I do not feel i have a right to complain - nor have i found the need for the last couple of years. I find the services meet my expectations both in times and regularity.I am perfectly happy with the service and politeness of the staff we can speak to.
As for mess - the only mess I find is that caused by inconsiderate or just plain lazy passengers who leave the free papers and their other food detritus when there are plenty of waste bins available. Hardly the train operators fault. Unfortunately, todays people don't think of others
Commuters may pay large sums for their travel at peak times and it is obvious that trains will be crowded when moving up to 1 million people or more with 2.5 hours. I see extensions to platforms so that longer trains will be available - a subject no doubt Mr Crow will use to extort more money for himself and his drivers.
As a freedom Pass holder I do not feel i have a right to complain - nor have i found the need for the last couple of years. I find the services meet my expectations both in times and regularity.I am perfectly happy with the service and politeness of the staff we can speak to. As for mess - the only mess I find is that caused by inconsiderate or just plain lazy passengers who leave the free papers and their other food detritus when there are plenty of waste bins available. Hardly the train operators fault. Unfortunately, todays people don't think of others Commuters may pay large sums for their travel at peak times and it is obvious that trains will be crowded when moving up to 1 million people or more with 2.5 hours. I see extensions to platforms so that longer trains will be available - a subject no doubt Mr Crow will use to extort more money for himself and his drivers. archibaldthegrim
  • Score: 0

6:13pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Twickenham Bob says...

The private companies involved in maintaining the tracks and running the trains are only interested in sucking out as much money as possible out of the system.

With British Rail we had efficiencies of scale - one train design for local routes and one for intercity which drastically reduced purchase & maintenance costs with the units built in the UK thus taking UK citizens off the dole.
The private companies involved in maintaining the tracks and running the trains are only interested in sucking out as much money as possible out of the system. With British Rail we had efficiencies of scale - one train design for local routes and one for intercity which drastically reduced purchase & maintenance costs with the units built in the UK thus taking UK citizens off the dole. Twickenham Bob
  • Score: 0

6:43pm Mon 18 Feb 13

ANNE GILES says...

I am very happy with Southern. Lovely trains. Very comfortable.
I am very happy with Southern. Lovely trains. Very comfortable. ANNE GILES
  • Score: 0

7:19pm Mon 18 Feb 13

davidcox says...

Fewer than half.
Fewer than half. davidcox
  • Score: 0

9:36am Tue 19 Feb 13

sfocata says...

Dirty and overcrowded trains? Forget that! Let's start with the basics... affordable trains.

And then the train companies (Southern in particular) might like to look into "running a service properly".
Dirty and overcrowded trains? Forget that! Let's start with the basics... affordable trains. And then the train companies (Southern in particular) might like to look into "running a service properly". sfocata
  • Score: 0

10:31am Tue 19 Feb 13

jackson80 says...

I have traveled the world several times over and have spent long periods of time in other countries - Britain is the only country that appears unable to run an efficient train service - Once again Britain look to your friends in Germany!
I have traveled the world several times over and have spent long periods of time in other countries - Britain is the only country that appears unable to run an efficient train service - Once again Britain look to your friends in Germany! jackson80
  • Score: 0

2:31pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Culverin says...

This holds no surprises, not only do we get ripped-off by the greedy private train companies but we also have to be packed in to filthy carriages.

I travel on the continent and it's a lovely experience at reasonable cost (compared to say aircraft).

The government should be doing far more to ensure that commuters aren't ripped-off by the greedy, shareholder-owned rackets that run our railways..... bring back British Rail.
This holds no surprises, not only do we get ripped-off by the greedy private train companies but we also have to be packed in to filthy carriages. I travel on the continent and it's a lovely experience at reasonable cost (compared to say aircraft). The government should be doing far more to ensure that commuters aren't ripped-off by the greedy, shareholder-owned rackets that run our railways..... bring back British Rail. Culverin
  • Score: 0

9:39am Wed 20 Feb 13

sfocata says...

But of course, as we were told before successive Tory privatisation campaigns, the most important thing is CHOICE.

We now have so much CHOICE. If I want to travel from Epsom to Sutton, I can go by Southern, a slow bus service, or... er, car or helicopter!

We should all be grateful to our lords and masters for successfully implementing their corporatist policies, enriching our lives with so much choice!
But of course, as we were told before successive Tory privatisation campaigns, the most important thing is CHOICE. We now have so much CHOICE. If I want to travel from Epsom to Sutton, I can go by Southern, a slow bus service, or... er, car or helicopter! We should all be grateful to our lords and masters for successfully implementing their corporatist policies, enriching our lives with so much choice! sfocata
  • Score: 0

9:18am Fri 22 Feb 13

DB says...

sfocata wrote:
But of course, as we were told before successive Tory privatisation campaigns, the most important thing is CHOICE. We now have so much CHOICE. If I want to travel from Epsom to Sutton, I can go by Southern, a slow bus service, or... er, car or helicopter! We should all be grateful to our lords and masters for successfully implementing their corporatist policies, enriching our lives with so much choice!
The one thing that always riles me is at the end of my journey from Surbiton to Waterloo there is an automated message saying 'Thank you for travelling with South West Trains'.

As you say, what choice is there? Car travel into the City is designed to make the train look cheap with £10 congestion charge, £20 to park plus the expense of running a car. Even if you could afford it, it would not be worth it because it takes 2 hours to do the 10 mile journey.

It is a bit too far to walk and you'd have to be fit (and have a death wish) to cycle it, so the train is the only option.

I quite like the idea of Crossrail 2 meaning there would actually be two competing services on these routes, but ultimately does this just introduce a third party for the other two to blame when things go wrong.
[quote][p][bold]sfocata[/bold] wrote: But of course, as we were told before successive Tory privatisation campaigns, the most important thing is CHOICE. We now have so much CHOICE. If I want to travel from Epsom to Sutton, I can go by Southern, a slow bus service, or... er, car or helicopter! We should all be grateful to our lords and masters for successfully implementing their corporatist policies, enriching our lives with so much choice![/p][/quote]The one thing that always riles me is at the end of my journey from Surbiton to Waterloo there is an automated message saying 'Thank you for travelling with South West Trains'. As you say, what choice is there? Car travel into the City is designed to make the train look cheap with £10 congestion charge, £20 to park plus the expense of running a car. Even if you could afford it, it would not be worth it because it takes 2 hours to do the 10 mile journey. It is a bit too far to walk and you'd have to be fit (and have a death wish) to cycle it, so the train is the only option. I quite like the idea of Crossrail 2 meaning there would actually be two competing services on these routes, but ultimately does this just introduce a third party for the other two to blame when things go wrong. DB
  • Score: 0

10:21am Fri 22 Feb 13

sfocata says...

DB - yes, that announcement always annoys me, too. It's not like we're on lines like KX to Peterborough where you actually have a choice of companies based on price/speed.

I'm just waiting to see a similar message on my Thames Water bill... then the end times really will be here!
DB - yes, that announcement always annoys me, too. It's not like we're on lines like KX to Peterborough where you actually have a choice of companies based on price/speed. I'm just waiting to see a similar message on my Thames Water bill... then the end times really will be here! sfocata
  • Score: 0

1:35pm Fri 22 Feb 13

kingstonpaul says...

I'd happily pay more, and travel in even more squalid trains if SWT turned off the assinine running commentary that seems to accompany every train journey these days. Aural ordure about reading safety instructions, not forgetting your bags, if you see anything suspicious reporting it, if you need any help, you can find me in the middle of this eight car train (think about that one....!) taking extra care because there's a bit of rain on the platforms, and guards behaving as wannabee cabin crew who think they're talking to a plane load of passengers, not the poor sops like me on the 7.53 to Waterloo every day.
I'd happily pay more, and travel in even more squalid trains if SWT turned off the assinine running commentary that seems to accompany every train journey these days. Aural ordure about reading safety instructions, not forgetting your bags, if you see anything suspicious reporting it, if you need any help, you can find me in the middle of this eight car train (think about that one....!) taking extra care because there's a bit of rain on the platforms, and guards behaving as wannabee cabin crew who think they're talking to a plane load of passengers, not the poor sops like me on the 7.53 to Waterloo every day. kingstonpaul
  • Score: 0

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