A new report from independent transport user watchdog Transport Focus has highlighted Chiltern Railways as the most trusted regional rail operator in the country.
The analysis highlights which train operators scored best and worst for levels of public trust over the past two years, and underscores the importance of running a reliable railway.
The two train companies with the highest trust ratings were long distance operator Grand Central, and the specialist Heathrow Express, both of whom consistently achieved trust scores of 70% or above.
Among regional or commuter networks, the best performer was Chiltern with a 66% trust rating. The worst was Southern, which earned a passenger trust score of just 22% in 2018.
Eleni Jordan, Commercial Director of Chiltern Railways said:
“This report is testament to all the hard work from the team at Chiltern Railways over the last year. Our customers trust us to get them to their destination on time, to give them a comfortable journey and deliver excellent customer service. We won’t be resting on our laurels and this year we will be continuing our programme of investment across our route to keep delighting our customers.”
On their website, Transport Focus say their mission is to get the best deal for passengers and road users via a strong emphasis on evidence-based campaigning and research.
The recent report concludes that “a right-time performance culture needs to be instituted across the rail network” and “the language and tone of all communications with travelling passengers must be thoroughly reassessed.”
Chiltern Railways is owned by Arriva UK Trains and has operated the Chiltern Railways franchise since 1996. It provides rail passenger services from Marylebone along the M40 corridor to destinations in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands, including trains on the London to Aylesbury Line.
The report also examined how passengers rate the rail industry compared to other key sectors. Passengers rated the rail industry worse overall than the NHS or airlines, but considerably better than banks and energy suppliers.