ScotRail's new franchisee Abellio voted among the lowest-scoring UK train operators for 'overall satisfaction' in passenger survey

Dutch state-owned Abellio was granted the ScotRail franchise in October

The company set to take over ScotRail has been voted among the lowest-scoring UK train operators for "overall satisfaction" in a passenger survey.

Abellio Greater Anglia scored 80 per cent in the category, beating only Southeastern (74 per cent), Govia Thameslink Railway (77 per cent) and Southern (77 per cent). South West Trains also scored 80 per cent.

By contrast, the highest-scoring operators were Heathrow Express and Grand Central, both with 94 per cent overall satisfaction, and Chiltern with 91 per cent.

Abellio scored just 37 per cent for value for money, which was the second-lowest figure in the survey, and also achieved a relatively low score of 35 per cent on its ability to deal with delays.

Just over half (59 per cent) of people were satisfied with the provision of information during their journeys while 43 per cent were satisfied with the helpfulness and attitude of staff on their train.

In these same categories operator Heathrow Express scored 86 per cent and 88 per cent respectively, while Grand Central scored 83 per cent and 89 per cent respectively. First Hull Trains scored even higher at 90 per cent and 93 per cent respectively.

However, Govia Thameslink Railway achieved lower scores of 46 per cent and 39 per cent respectively and C2C scored 38 per cent for the helpfulness and attitude of staff on its trains. Northern Rail also scored 59 per cent for the provision of information during its journeys.

 

The survey of more than 27,000 passengers was carried out by independent watchdog Passenger Focus.

Chief executive Anthony Smith said: "Rail passengers’ satisfaction is driven by getting trains on time. Many are being let down - fare increases, billions in government investment and promises of improvement don’t seem to be delivering change on the ground. The high profile disruption after Christmas and at London Bridge will only have added to the gloom."

Smith added: "Passengers do not care who is to blame for things going wrong and for some of them the timetable is a work of fiction. If it really is the case that better day-to-day performance can't be achieved, then an honest, open debate is now needed so that passengers might be able to trust the promises made by the industry again."

Dutch state-owned Abellio was granted the ScotRail franchise in October. It will take over from current franchise FirstGroup on 1 April.

Chief executive Jeff Hoogesteger said in a statement at the time: "We look forward to delivering significant new benefits for passengers under the next franchise.

"Highlights will include new trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh, upgraded intercity services, better connectivity and journey times, innovative new fares, major station investments, a £1m community rail programme, and an employee gain share scheme."

The Independent has contacted Abellio for comment.

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