Survey shows privatised rail fails Scotland

05 June 2007

A survey of rail travellers published today by Passenger Focus, the independent national rail consumer watchdog, shows a further slump in satisfaction with the service. The National Passenger Survey, the biggest rail passenger survey, shows that more than one passenger in eight is unhappy with the services they are offered.

Although 83% of First ScotRail’s passengers are satisfied with the service this is a drop of 4% compared to spring 2006. Passengers travelling with Virgin West Coast, Virgin Cross Country and GNER, all of which serve Scotland, have said that value for money and room to sit or stand has got worse in the last year.

Keith Norman says the figures are another convincing argument for taking up the pledge in Labour’s manifesto in Scotland to investigate taking the service back into public control. ‘Before the recent elections there were informal discussions with Network Rail to take over both the franchise and the track,’ Keith says. ‘We must now insist that the new Scottish government continues these discussions and gives the public a full report of its findings.’

Passenger Focus in Scotland says it hopes that the train operators ‘listen to their passengers and take action’. Keith Norman says he admires their optimism – but not their tactics. ‘The only way to ensure that railways are run to the standards the public requires is for them to control the industry,’ Keith insists. ‘The evidence of dissatisfaction with the privatisation experiment is now absolutely overwhelming.‘

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