Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Enfield North, Joan Ryan, has voiced concern at news that one of the two train companies serving local stations has come bottom of a national passenger satisfaction survey - and the other one came fourth from bottom.
Joan Ryan is calling for urgent action to improve services after Thameslink & Great Northern, run by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which took over the route between London Moorgate, Enfield Chase and Gordon Hill last year, achieved just 43% in the Which? train satisfaction survey for 2015. It was also the second worst of 21 companies for delays. The other operator, Abellio Greater Anglia (AGA), which serves Enfield Town and Bush Hill, achieved a score of 46%. The figures contrast with a score of 76% for the top performing operator and an average across all operators of 52%.
Which? said passengers had told it almost everything about GTR’s service was poor, including value for money, cleanliness and punctuality. The age of the trains was also a common gripe. One passenger told Which?: “The trains are out of date and tatty, there aren’t enough carriages and the fares don’t reflect the level of service.”
GTR’s performance in the Which? survey is particularly galling given that parent company Go-Ahead this week reported a 6.1% rise in half-year operating profits to £55.3m. Its rail division made profits of £10.2m and the company hiked shareholder dividends by 4.3% to 26.6p a share.
Nationally, Labour plans to review the failed franchising system set up as part of the Tories’ botched privatisation and to give the public sector more control of the railways.
Joan Ryan, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Enfield North, said:
“The latest Which? survey highlights what an appalling service local rail passengers are getting from GTR and AGA.
The level of passenger satisfaction is unacceptable, especially when season tickets for some Enfield residents have gone up by 33% per cent since 2010. Commuters are paying sky high prices for a rock bottom service.
Both rail operators need to up their game by improving punctuality, upgrading trains and easing overcrowding on peak services.
I will continue to monitor the services provided and will hold GTR and AGA to account if Enfield passengers face further disruption caused by avoidable problems such as driver shortages.”
The Which? fourth annual train satisfaction survey and accompanying press release can be found via the links below: