Rail industry ‘failing’ passengers over way delays and complaints handled

Rail operators have made little progress in improving the way they handle delays and complaints in the last decade, new analysis has revealed.

Consumer group Which? claimed passengers are being failed and called on the Government to introduce a rail ombudsman to resolve disputes more efficiently.

Its analysis of Transport Focus data shows passenger satisfaction of how delays are dealt with stands at 35%, while just 46% are happy with the way complaints are managed.

This is compared with 32% and 42% respectively a decade ago.

Punctuality satisfaction has fallen by five percentage points to 72% over the same period, its worst level in the past 10 years.

Which? managing director of public markets Alex Hayman said: “Our analysis highlights that the rail industry has been failing its passengers, particularly in the way they handle delays and manage complaints. This just isn’t good enough for the millions of people who are reliant on rail services on a daily basis.

“The Government’s election manifesto made strong promises to help rail passengers, who deserve much better when rail services fail to deliver.

“That is why we need to see the powers and duties of the regulator strengthened, with the Government swiftly pressing forward on its plans to introduce a rail ombudsman.”

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, representing train operators and Network Rail, said: “Rail companies are working together and investing to improve services across Britain for the long term, including more trains more often and simpler fares.

“We’re making journeys better and we’re sorry when customers don’t get the service they expect.

“Four-in-five people say they are satisfied with their train journey and the long-term trend is one of falling customer complaints.”

PA Wire