Satisfaction levels for punctuality and dealing with delays on Southern were just 30 per cent and 12
Transport Focus warned that services will “remain brittle” for some time to come.
It spoke out as its Autumn 2016 National Rail Passenger Survey – which measured satisfaction levels among for more than 29,000 train users – said commuters are getting “a raw deal”.
The survey found that UK-wide passenger satisfaction declined two percentage points from 83 to 81 per cent compared to Autumn 2015.
The proportion of passengers satisfied with punctuality and reliability declined from 78 to 73 per cent.
But overall satisfaction for Southern, ScotRail and Great Northern “declined significantly” compared to Autumn 2015.
Satisfaction levels for punctuality and dealing with delays on Southern were just 30 per cent and 12 per cent respectively while only 12 per cent of Gatwick Express passengers felt they got value for money.
Some rail timetables have been branded a 'work of fiction'
Southern passengers have endured disruption for the best part of a year in a dispute over driver only operation trains which has had a knock-on effect for Gatwick Express.
Overcrowding, delays and poor conditions that have become commonplace
This dispute is on top of network problems which regularly cause disruption.
Only yesterday hundreds of thousands of commuters on the Southeastern network faced morning rush hour chaos due to a derailed freight train in south London.
South West Trains services to and from London Waterloo were also disrupted when a person died after being struck by a train at Woking in Surrey.
Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: “The results around the country are disappointing. Scottish passengers and those travelling in peak hours in London and the South East are bearing the brunt of poor performance.
“The timetable on parts of the London and South East’s railway can be a work of fiction which passengers cannot rely on.
“As passenger numbers rise, parts of the rail network will remain brittle until welcome improvements are in place and working.
“Southern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Network Rail must continue to collaborate to produce a more robust timetable.
"Passengers need a better balance between peak and off-peak services, reliability and capacity.”
Southern passengers have endured disruption for the best part of a year
Lianna Etkind, of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “This survey confirms passengers are paying through the nose for a shoddy service, and the Government appears not to care as long as the money keeps rolling in.
“There is no point spending billions on increasing capacity whilst ignoring smaller scale investment in reliable infrastructure.
“We want to see more line-based infrastructure funding and a fix-it-first approach to rail investment to help tackle the woeful level of service many passengers have to put up with.”
Vickie Sheriff, Which? Director of Campaigns and Communications, said: “Passengers’ declining satisfaction in rail services underlines the urgent need for train companies to put passengers first.
“The overcrowding, delays and poor conditions that have become commonplace on services across the country are simply unacceptable. Enough is enough.”
Southern Fail: Commuters mock service in these hilarious tweets
Wed, August 31, 2016
15 of the funniest tweets from angry Southern commuters.
1 of 16
Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald called for the renationalisation of the railway to stop foreign-owned train firms taking money out of the system.
He said: “The results of this survey expose the failure of our privatised railways. With promised upgrades delayed or cancelled and fares rising way ahead of wages, it’s disappointing but not surprising to see passenger satisfaction down across the board for 2016.
“It’s clear than an alternative is needed for Britain’s railways. It is time for our railways to be run under public ownership, in the public interest as an integrated national asset in public hands with affordable fares for all and long-term investment in the railway network.”
The Rail Delivery Group, which speaks for Network Rail and the train companies, said the industry is investing heavily in improvements but admitted that this too will cause disruption.
Only 12 per cent of Gatwick Express passengers felt they got value for money
RDG Managing Director of Customer Experience, Jacqueline Starr, said: “We know we must do better. We’re sorry when customers don’t get the service they expect, including those affected by strikes.
"Everyone in the railway is working hard to make train journeys better from start to finish.
“After decades of under-investment and with passenger numbers soaring to 4.5million a day on thousands more trains, the railway is full in many places.
“Rail companies are working together to deliver more than £50billion of improvements, including more than 5,500 new train carriages, to tackle congestion and make journeys faster, more comfortable and more reliable.
“While we build the bigger, better railway the country needs there will be some disruption.”