Merseyrail tops UK train survey

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Merseyrail train © Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Merseyrail train © Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Merseyrail has been ranked the top train service provider by its users.

Figures released today by consumer magazine Which? showed that Merseyrail users were the most satisfied users across the UK, scoring 70%.

Virgin Trains, which operates the rail service between Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston, came fourth with a 64% approval rating.

Ten of the 19 companies in the survey had satisfaction scores of less than 50%, with only 40% in favour of Greater Anglia and Southeastern services.

The Which? scores are markedly lower than the satisfaction results collated by the watchdog, Passenger Focus, from a far bigger sample.

However, Which? said its scoring system is based on overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend a company among more than 7,000 regular rail commuters. Respondents were polled in early January, soon after the latest train travel price rises.

Passengers were also asked what they felt would improve their journeys and what they would be prepared to pay more for. Lower ticket prices were top of the wanted list (60%), as eight in 10 passengers believed fares were too high, and one in five commuters said they had been forced to stand on their last journey.

The rail minister, Stephen Hammond, said: “As well as getting passengers to their destinations, operators should be working hard to improve the overall experience of their customers. Passengers have every right to expect trains to arrive on time and be clean, and while this can be a challenge, I expect operators to do all they can.”

About Cillian McGinn, JMU Journalism