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First Capital Connect voted worst train operator by commuters says consumer body Which?
First Capital Connect has been named the worse train operator in the country with a customer satisfaction score of just 40 per cent, new research has shown.
Consumer body Which? revealed this morning that the company, which runs the commuter line between St Albans and London, received the worst feedback from its survey of 7,500 passengers.
The results come a week after passengers faced commuting chaos when all trains between St Albans and London St Pancras were cancelled due to damaged overhead cables. No First Capital Connect trains ran on Wednesday and Thursday due to problems at Radlett station, leaving hundreds of people stranded.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, said: "With 1.5 billion train journeys made every year and eight of the 17 UK rail franchises up for grabs in the next two years, customer service should be top of the agenda for every train operating company.
"It is good to see some are performing well on service, but customers clearly feel others need to do better.
"Passengers tell us they are fed up with trains that are delayed, overcrowded and dirty.
"This is especially disappointing as many commuters can’t shop around or change the company they travel with.
"Train companies need to play fair with their customers, especially when they are being asked to pay more for their journeys."
More than half of the 19 operators in the country received a score of less than 50 per cent.
Virgin Trains was given the highest ratings with a customer score of 67 per cent.
Keith Jipps, customer services director at First Capital Connect, said: "This research quizzed just 461 people online out of the 170,000 we carry every day.
"A face-to-face survey by rail watchdog Passenger Focus which is audited by the Office of National Statistics that shows 81 per cent of our passengers are satisfied or very satisfied with our service and 13 per cent are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Just 6 per cent expressed dissatisfaction.
"Our investment in the service is paying off with improved satisfaction with punctuality and journey times, the attitudes and helpfulness of our staff, the security of our services and the overall station environment.
"However we continue work to bring ongoing improvements to our customers, through better stations and information provision."
London Midland, which runs the Abby Flyer service between St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction, was ranked 14th of the 19 operators.
It scored a rating of 45% from its passengers.