First Capital Connect in bottom three for satisfaction in Which? survey

11:28 19 February 2014

First Capital Connect ranked as one of the country

First Capital Connect ranked as one of the country's least popular train services according to a Which? survey

Archant

First Capital Connect is one of the least popular train services in the country, according to a survey published on Monday.

First Capital Connect is one of the least popular train services in the country, according to a survey published on Monday.

The annual report from consumer group Which? placed First Capital Connect in the bottom three for customer service, with a passenger satisfaction score of 41% from the 441 people asked.

Customer scores relate to both commuter and leisure journeys, and are based on overall satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending them to a friend.

Commuter trains were given a breakdown of customer satisfaction from the survey, with scores out of five for six categories.

First Capital Connect received one for cleanliness, three for frequency, two for punctuality, two for reliability, two for room for passengers and one for value for money.

Only Greater Anglia and Southeastern scored lower with 40% overall, Merseyrail topped the bill with 70% and East Coast trains scored 59% from a sample size of 502.

The survey asked 7,415 UK adults in November about their train journeys in the past 12 months.

The findings are in contrast with the National Rail Passenger Survey, which provides a network-wide picture of customers’ satisfaction with rail travel.

In the latest report, published on January 21, First Capital Connect had a 79% satisfied or good rating, with 14% neither satisfied or dissatisfied and 7% dissatisfied or rating it as poor from a sample size of 1,531 people.

A First Capital Connect spokesman said: “We are disappointed, especially after the far larger National Passenger Survey showed overall satisfaction scores of 79%, but we listen to all feedback and are taking steps to deliver what passengers want.

“Since this survey was carried out we have frozen our 25%-plus weekend and bank holiday discounted tickets and launched a further 10% off online sales in January to give passengers better value for money.

“We’ve unveiled a new train that will address overcrowding on our routes and completed a deep clean of the carriages we have now with a £350,000 investment in extra staff and equipment.

“We have also worked hard to improve the reliability of our services with specific teams focused on time-keeping. However, their efforts have been derailed by repeated issues with the tracks, signalling and power equipment that – put simply – we do not maintain.”

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