First Capital Connect voted worst UK train company

ReenaSewraz
by Lovemoney Staff ReenaSewraz on 18 February 2013  |  Comments 3 comments

Latest Which? train satisfaction survey reveals the best and worst train operator, with First Capital Connect taking a kicking.

First Capital Connect voted worst UK train company

First Capital Connect has come bottom in a Which? survey of train satisfaction among rail users.

The train company, which operates routes including  London King’s Cross to Cambridge and Bedford to Brighton via Gatwick airport, got a customer satisfaction score of a paltry 40%.

Virgin Trains on the other hand was voted the best train company in the UK for the second year running with an overall score of 67%, scoring well on value, punctuality and reliability.

The survey

At the end of last year Which? surveyed over 7,500 adults in the UK about their train journeys over the previous 12 months.

Each train operator was given a score based on overall satisfaction and the likelihood to recommend the company.

Nine companies scored less than 50% with First Great Western (43%), South Eastern (43%), Greater Anglia (42%) and First Capital Connect (40%) particularly disappointing users.

The top companies, with a score of more than 60%, included Chiltern Railways (62%), Merseyrail  (64%), C2C (64%), London Overground (65%) and Virgin Trains (67%).

The results

Here are how other operators placed in the Which? train satisfaction survey.

Train company

Customer score

Virgin Trains

67%

London Overground

65%

C2C

64%

Merseyrail

64%

Chiltern Railways

62%

East Coast

58%

First Transpennine Express

54%

ScotRail

53%

Cross Country

51%

East Midlands Trains

50%

Arriva Trains Wales

48%

Southern

48%

South West Trains

47%

London Midland

45%

Northern

44%

First Great Western

43%

South Eastern

43%

Greater Anglia

42%

First Capital Connect

40%

Source: Which?

First Capital Connect response

First Capital Connect responded to the result today by saying the research was flawed as it only asked 461 people out of the 170,000 the operator carries every day.

In January, the National Passenger Survey conducted by Passenger Focus reported record levels of satisfaction from railway users with First Capital Connect scoring 81%, though this was still one of the lowest scores.

The survey included 30,000 passengers and found 85% were satisfied overall with no operator scoring below 80%.

Breakdown

The Which? research was also used to compare like with like on long distance, commuter and regional journeys.

In terms of long distance services Virgin Trains again came top with a score of 69%.

The operator offers train services from London to Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool and Wolverhampton, as well as journeys from North Wales to the West Midlands and Birmingham to Scotland.

Virgin scored highly in catering facilities, cleanliness, punctuality, reliability and value for money.

First Great Western was voted the worst for long distance journeys with a score of 49%. Punctuality, reliability, luggage space and value for money were the main areas of dissatisfaction.

London Overground came top for commuter trains with a score of 66% - doing well in terms of punctuality and reliability.

Greater Anglia was the worst for commuters scoring just 36% causing disappointment on value for money, reliability, cleanliness and room for passengers.

Merseyrail was voted the best for regional rail services with an impressive score of 67%, while the worst was Northern with a score of 50%.

Compensation

Rail users don't get much choice about who to use to travel. But if your train is delayed or cancelled you may be able to claim compensation.

Each train company has a different policy but exactly what you can get is usually set out in its Passenger Charter.

Find out how to claim and what you will get from each company in: Train delays and cancellations: how to claim refunds and compensation.

Complaining

If you aren’t happy with the way a train company has treated you, contact Passenger Focus or London Travel Watch.

You can find out more about your rights from Citizens Advice.

More on travel:

Last-minute travel apps to save you money

The best prepaid cards for spending abroad

How a black box can cut the cost of your car insurance

Top Cashback and American Express offer cashback on fuel

Santander 123 World credit card to pay 3% cashback on train fares

 

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Comments (3)

  • sarahcyn
    Love rating 1
    sarahcyn said

    A few weeks ago my son took the train from Kings Cross to Kings Lynn to visit his grandparents for a night...his journey took SIX HOURS EACH WAY because of poor communications between local bus services, rail replacement buses and train services and he spent much of the journey sitting on freezing cold platforms and bus stops. Not good enough.

    Report on 19 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • RichardSowler
    Love rating 18
    RichardSowler said

    Moral: live in the North or Midlands. Housing is cheaper too.

    Report on 26 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

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