Southern rail has been voted the worst train service in the UK for the third year in a row, according to a survey.The consumer group Which? found only 28% of customers were satisfied with the service.It also scored just one star out of five for value for money, reliability and punctuality, with 37% saying the service had got worse in the last year.Parent company Govia Thameslink Railway said there had been a lot of union disruption and services were improving.Southern has been embroiled in a dispute with the RMT union for nearly two years over driver-only operated (DOO) trains, which are also known as driver-controlled operated (DCO).The dispute also involved the drivers’ union Aslef, but in November its members accepted a deal with Southern which included a five-year pay increase worth 28.5%. ‘Congested routes’Passengers have faced disruption since April 2016 due to industrial action amid union concerns over safety and job losses.In a statement, a Govia spokesman said much of the disruption had been caused by “union opposition to our modernisation programme which is being carried out to transform services on the most congested routes in the country”.”The Which? analysis fails to take into account the unique and complex challenges that face GTR compared to other train operators.”Southern also operates a commuter service of over 2,200 services a day and is compared with other firms which operate far fewer trains and, in many cases, operate on long distance leisure routes.”It added that an enhanced train timetable would be introduced in May.
The Which? survey asked 2,865 UK commuters about their journeys by train in the last 12 months.Above Southern rail in the bottom three were two other companies also owned by Govia.Southeastern and Thameslink & Great Northern – both had a customer satisfaction score of 39%.Southeastern also received a one star rating for value for money, and scored just two stars in 6 out of the 8 categories, including reliability of service and the availability of seats. Grand Central railway topped the table, receiving a customer score of 64%.It also scored four stars across the board for its service, achieving the rating for the availability of seats, frequency of trains and condition of the carriages.
Source: BBC Sussex