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Southeastern Trains and Southern worst in country for customer satisfaction

The two main train companies serving Kent have come joint bottom in a national customer satisfaction survey.

Southeastern Trains and Southern Trains both scored just 69% for overall customer satisfaction, joint lowest in the UK, in the latest Passenger Focus survey.

And in terms of reliability and punctuality, Southern and Southeastern finished bottom and second-bottom respectively, with satisfaction ratings of 53% and 56%.

Southeastern trains. Library image.
Southeastern trains. Library image.

This marks a sharp drop in satisfaction since the last survey in January, which found 67% of customers surveyed were satisfied with the reliability and punctuality of Southeastern trains, a drop from 72% in 2014.

Unsurprisingly, customers don't think they are getting value for money, with just 30% of Southeastern passengers happy about the cost of their tickets.

Southeastern say a number of factors hindered the overall quality of the service over the period the survey was undertaken, between January 11 and March 20.

A spokesman said: "There was the partial collapse of the sea wall at Dover – scissoring part of the network – and landslides at Barnehurst, which closed a main line into London for nearly a week.

"Storm Imogen also hit services and there were infrastructure failings around London Bridge – which is undergoing a complete rebuild."

Southeastern says its improving the Kent Integrated Control Centre, which manages how trains run, improving real time information.

A Southeastern train. Stock image.
A Southeastern train. Stock image.

David Statham, managing director of Southeastern, said: “The latest National Rail Passenger Survey figures are a snap shot of a very difficult period for Southeastern passengers last winter.

“The survey was undertaken during the winter months when severe weather and infrastructure issues meant we were not able to give our passengers the services we want to provide and that they rightfully expect.

“Together with Network Rail, our job is to improve reliability, and I want to reassure our passengers that is what we are completely focused on.

"We have worked very closely with Network Rail to bring about a number of improvements since then.

"These include investing in more frontline employees and in track infrastructure in the areas where major disruption is most likely to occur.”

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