Survery reveals passengers unhappy

PASSENGERS using National Express East Anglia train services are among the least satisfied in the country, according to new figures from the official watchdog.

SUFFOLK: Passengers using National Express East Anglia train services are among the least satisfied in the country, according to new figures from the official watchdog.

But they are still the best ever recorded by the current rail operator - which is not likely to have its franchise renewed next year.

The Passenger Focus report on satisfaction levels across the country shows that 79 per cent of those using National Express East Anglia trains were overall good or satisfactory.

That compares to a national average of 83 per cent - with some companies recording a satisfaction rate well above 90%.

Only just over a third (34 per cent) felt National Express offered good value for money, while a similar proportion (33 per cent) believed it handled delays well.

Two areas with very low scores were the availability of staff on trains and toilets on trains - which were regarded as satisfactory by only 22 per cent and 29 per cent respectively.

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The overall result showed an improvement for the company between autumn 2008 and 2009 of 3 per cent - a result which heartened rail bosses.

Andrew Chivers, managing director of National Express East Anglia, said: “These figures reflect the improvements made in our train service performance and the greater emphasis we have placed on improving customer service at our stations with local managers.

“We recognise there is still much more work to do in meeting our customers' expectations and we are pressing ahead with our exciting Service Improvement Plan which is already bringing benefits to thousands of customers.”

Guy Dangerfield from Passenger Focus said punctuality and reliability were the crucial factors.

“There have been improvements in East Anglia which have been reflected in these figures,” he said.

“But that has been patchy - with major improvements on the west of the region on the line to Cambridge but not such a happy story on the Great Eastern main line to Ipswich and Norwich.”

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