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Passengers’ overall satisfaction with UK train services has risen by three percentage points from 80 to 83 per cent over the last year.
Satisfaction levels, according to the National Rail Passenger Survey, varied widely between train operating companies (TOCs) with Hull Trains and Heathrow Express coming joint top with a score of 97 per cent.
Strike-ridden Southern came last of all TOCs with a rating 72 per cent, followed by Thameslink with a score of 75 per cent.
The biannual survey, which is carried out by consumer watchdog Transport Focus, also found that overall satisfaction on punctuality and reliability increased by four points from 73 to 77 per cent since the spring 2016 report.
Passengers also seem to be happier with their services in London and south-east with satisfaction rates rising from 79 to 82 per cent since the last survey.
Anthony Smith, CEO of Transport Focus, said: “The figures for Southern in particular show a significant recovery in passengers’ experience with a number of factors including the helpfulness and availability of on board staff and also of staff at the station.
“Southeastern also saw their overall satisfaction scores increase by 10 per cent. “Having said that, there is some way to go reach a more acceptable position. Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Southeastern have the lowest scores. These green shoots are fragile and need nurturing.
“This recovery will be under pressure from upgrade works, industrial relationship problems and rising passenger numbers. So the industry needs to keep a relentless, ongoing focus on performance and reliability.” Transport Focus surveyed 27,290 passengers for the latest rail survey between January 30 and April 30.
Top satisfaction scores:Hull Trains - 97 per centHeathrow Express - 97 per centGrand Central - 94 per centMerseyrail- 94 per cent Chiltern - 92 per centVirgin Trains (West Coast) - 92 per cent
Lowest satisfaction scores: Southern - 72 per centThameslink - 75 per centGreat Northern - 79 per centSoutheastern - 81 per centGreat Western Railway - 81 per cent