Commuters find more to smile aboutBy Victoria Corbett
February 07, 2011
The train operators providing services in Wokingham appear to be winning over customers after a survey revealed more passengers are seeing better value for their money.
The passenger survey also showed around three-quarters of those using First Great Western or South West Trains are satisfied with the levels of service they are receiving.
The survey, which was carried out by travel watchdog Passenger Focus in the autumn, seeks views from passengers on station and train facilities.
Commuters are asked to give their thoughts on ticket buying facilities, the attitudes and helpfulness of staff, frequency of trains on their particular route and the value for money for the price of their ticket.
Nationally, the survey revealed 84 per cent of passengers – the highest total since the study was introduced in 1999 – were satisfied with their overall experience, which is one per cent up on a survey carried out in 2009.
A breakdown of the results locally show 75 per cent of passengers are satisfied with the frequency of trains provided by First Great Western, which runs services from Wokingham along the Guildford line, while 56 per cent feel they are receiving value for money, which is up six per cent on the same survey conducted in 2009.
Returned surveys from those who travel with South West Trains, which runs services from Wokingham to Reading and London Waterloo, found 79 per cent to be satisfied with the frequency of trains provided.
Just 43 per cent feel they are receiving good value for money, however, this has jumped up four per cent from the 39 per cent of commuters satisfied with the price of the service they were paying for in 2009.
With the survey being carried out prior to a six per cent increase in rail fares at the start of the year, The Wokingham Times was keen to discover if passengers are still as satisfied.
Keith Stevens, who commutes daily from the borough to his job in Guildford, said: “No one is going to be happy with a price hike, but it still works out cheaper for me to get the train to work then it would for me to drive, when you consider the costs of petrol and parking.
“I have no real complaints about the service. I travel with First Great Western and the trains, touch wood, are generally on time and I usually get a seat.”
Another commuter, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s by far the easiest way for me to get to London, but it’s not the cheapest.
“Regular commuters like myself, and others, should be rewarded for loyalty and regular use and should not be subject to price increases, which are happening far too regularly.”
Ian Johnston, customer service director for South West Trains, said: “We are very pleased with the latest results, which represent some of the highest ever levels of satisfaction among our passengers.”
A spokesman for First Great Western added: “We have come a long way in the past six years in delivering our promised improvements.”
Are you satisfied with the service and value for money provided by the train companies? Leave your comments below.