Thursday, January 20, 2022

Basket case franchise Southern ranked worst train operator for public trust

Southern comes last in surveys on public trust in the rail operators (Picture: Bloomberg)

Train operator So..

By admin , in England , at June 6, 2019

Passengers board a Southern Rail train, during strike action by Southern Rail conductors, at London Victoria railway station in London, U.K., on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. It is one of a number of industrial disputes that have hit the U.K. this holiday season, with strikes scheduled for the mail service, airport baggage handling and British Airways Plc cabin crew. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Southern comes last in surveys on public trust in the rail operators (Picture: Bloomberg)

Train operator Southern has been ranked last for public trust in a new report on all the rail companies.

Analysis by watchdog Transport Focus showed the firm had notably low scores for trust in the last four passenger surveys.

The figures ranged from a dismal 17% in the spring and autumn of 2017 to 22% in the most recent poll of customers in autumn last year.

Southern has been engaged in a three-year dispute with the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union about guards on trains, which has resulted in industrial action.

The RMT has called Southern a basket case franchise and said it was not fit to run a railway.

The second worst performance on trust was by Great Northern with 24%.

That was followed by South Western Rail and Thameslink, both on 27%.

All three of these scores were recorded in the autumn 2018 survey.



Great Northern and Thameslink services were crippled by the chaotic launch of new timetables in May 2018.

Govia Thamelink Railway is the parent company of Southern, Great Northern and Thameslink.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: For over three years RMT members have been warning that Southern is a basket case franchise, cutting corners on safety and service and not fit to run a railway.

These latest shocking figures prove that we have been right all along.

Southern Rail trains sit at the Selhurst depot as train drivers stage a second day of industrial action in London on December 14, 2016. Hundreds of thousands of British commuters faced further travel chaos as train drivers continued their strike for a second day. Southern Rail, which runs trains between England's south coast and London, warned of severe disruption as it cancelled more than 2,000 services after workers launched three days of industrial action. / AFP / NIKLAS HALLE'N (Photo credit should read NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images)

Watchdog Transport Focus analysed trust ratings over four surveys conducted in 2017 and 2018 (Picture: AFP)

The strongest trust performances were from Grand Central and Heathrow Express, who have consistently achieved scores of at least 70%.

Chiltern, Merseyrail and Virgin Trains all recorded ratings which did not dip below 60% over the four surveys.

Transport Focus submitted its analysis to the Government-commissioned Rail Review, which will make recommendations about the future of Britains railway.

The watchdogs chief executive Anthony Smith said: There are some wide variations between train operators that keenly reflect the passenger experience.

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