Less than half happy at rail performance

By Ian Dipple Thursday 01 May 2014 Updated: 02/05 08:48

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Buy photos » A typical six-carriage London Midland train. (s)

TRAIN passengers in Redditch are being urged to voice their complaints about London Midland as part of efforts by a consumer group to improve the company’s performance.

Research by Which? shows just 47 per cent of passengers are satisfied with London Midland’s service, which includes the Cross City Line between Redditch and Birmingham.

Almost a fifth of the firm’s passengers surveyed had experienced a delay while another 15 per cent had a reason to complain on their last journey on a London Midland train, but just two per cent of them did so.

London Midland is ranked 12th out of 19 companies in the Which? annual train satisfaction survey.

The consumer group is now urging passengers to report their complaints about London Midland via www.which.co.uk/trains to help them build up a dossier of evidence they can use to show the company how they need to improve.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: “People have been let down time and again by poor train services, yet despite the spiralling cost of tickets many are putting up with it and not complaining.

“We’ll be telling the train companies exactly how their passengers feel, so that they can see where they need to improve.”

Redditch MP Karen Lumley is backing the campaign. She said: “I was deeply concerned to see the annual train passenger survey found low levels of satisfaction.

“It is particularly concerning for me that London Midland which many of my constituents use had a lower satisfaction score than most other train companies, with the other main provider Cross Country not faring much better. Trains are vital to many people’s day to day lives and it is completely reasonable that they expect to get a punctual, reliable and comfortable service.

“Train companies must do more to both make their customers feel that they are listened to and take action where necessary. We, as consumers, should do more to highlight where we believe improvements are needed.”

But a spokeswoman for London Midland said the latest national survey by Passenger Focus showed overall satisfaction with the company was at 84 per cent and figures from the Office for Rail Regulation showed complaints had dropped by over 73 per cent.

She added they had introduced a mobile phone app and Twitter account to make it easier for them to communicate with passengers.

“We value passenger feedback and have invested heavily in developing tools which make it even easier for our customers to contact us,” she said.

“We also commission our own quarterly customer satisfaction surveys to ensure we are in touch with how our customers think and feel.”

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