The reputation of the UK’s train network has taken a bit of a battering recently, with the weather certainly pulling no punches in disrupting services across the country.
However, it appears as though the companies operating the rail lines can’t use that excuse every time someone complains of a shoddy service.
With millions of people getting the train to work every day, the latest satisfaction survey conducted by Which? has revealed the level of service leaves a lot to be desired, come rain or shine.
Of the 19 rail operators featured in the study, ten scored less than 50 per cent. Merseyrail – the best-performing firm – recorded a satisfaction rating of 70 per cent.
The fact that 7,415 adults who took part in the survey were questioned in November 2013 – before the recent flooding and high winds – indicates the results are not entirely out of these companies’ hands and bosses need to do something to improve their passengers’ experience – even more so since the bad weather has hit.
Lower ticket prices were top of the wish list for the majority of respondents (80 per cent), which is significant considering rail fares across the country increased at the start of 2014.
Over a quarter of commuters said they had experienced a delay in their last journey, while one-third wanted to see more carriages during peak hours to avoid overcrowding. Wi-Fi as standard was another request from one in five train users.
The results highlight an issue that many employers are now starting to recognise as they look to improve the wellbeing of their workers – that the commute is a part of the day few of their staff relish.
With this in mind, one alternative is to encourage more staff to work from home, saving them time and money otherwise spent on uncomfortable, expensive train journeys. Mobile working technology and video conferencing facilities can now be utilised effectively to ensure their daily work routine isn’t disrupted as a result of not being in the office.
For many, the results will come as no surprise. However, it’s how those train users respond to them that is the important thing.