Rail privatisation has been a flop, say passengers

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The Independent Online
Rail privatisation is failing passengers, with 55 per cent saying the network is worse than it was a year ago, according to a survey out yesterday. Fewer than 6 per cent of the 2,000 passengers questioned said it had become easier to find a seat, according to the survey from the Railway Development Society.The survey found:

= Passengers were happiest with the Great Western and the Wales and West train companies, and least happy with Connex South Central, Regional Railways North East and the Great North Eastern Railway.

Anglia had the highest increased satisfaction level, while satisfaction levels deteriorated the most for Regional Railways North East.

GNER passengers had the most trouble finding a seat, while Connex South Central had the dirtiest and most uncomfortable trains.

The most helpful staff were on Anglia trains, and the least helpful were on West Anglia Great Northern.

24 per cent of Virgin Trains passengers found their service unreliable, but 25 per cent found Virgin staff were more helpful than a year ago.

55 per cent of passengers said the railways were doing a poorer job of providing an easy-to-use network than they were a year ago.

50 per cent did not feel they were told about the full choice of trains and tickets.

31 per cent said rail travel was less flexible and convenient than a year ago.

30 per cent were less satisfied with rail travel than a year ago.