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Home Kent News Article
Satisfaction with Kent's train service is at its lowest level in almost a decade as the latest passenger survey results are released.
Just 72% of people said they are happy with Southeastern's service - a drop from 84% just six months ago.
The figure, revealed in the National Rail Passenger Survey, is the lowest in nine years since 71% in spring 2005.
Southeastern bosses said they are not surprised by passengers' frustrations as the survey was carried out at a time when landslips and adverse weather caused more than 100 incidents on their network.
About 27,000 passengers took part in the latest passenger survey. Nationally, 82% of passengers said they were satisfied overall with their last journey.
Passenger Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: "Better communications during weather-related disruptions may have ensured passengers' satisfaction in dealing with delays has held up with some train companies.
"Satisfaction with value for money varies even more widely among operators but, while still low, has increased slightly from 42 to 45 per cent. This is likely to reflect the government's decision to bear down on fare rises last year."
Southeastern said it was "disappointed" at the results and gave a commitment to improve its service.
A spokesman said: "The survey was carried out over the same two-month period that saw 124 incidents on the railway that related to landslips and poor weather conditions.
"These incidents had an impact across the entire Southeastern network, leading to cancelled services, delayed journeys and in some cases overcrowded trains.
"Southeastern referred Network Rail, the organisation responsible for tracks and signalling, to the Office of Rail Regulation to seek urgent action to improve punctuality and reliability on the network in the aftermath of the winter disruption.
"The company has since been working with Network Rail to identify actions to improve performance."
And Southeastern managing director Charles Horton said: "We're not surprised that our customers have responded to the survey in this way as we too were frustrated by the problems that hampered services over the winter.
"We've taken on board comments from customers about how we handled the disruption and made improvements to our website, with more in the pipeline; appointed a dedicated manager to oversee contingency planning; and started work to identify where we can improve in other areas."
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