The Times, December 8 2013
There are “huge disparities” in the quality of train services in different parts of Britain, according to a report.
Services are best in London, southeast England, northwest England, the West Midlands and Scotland, says the report from Credo, a business consultancy, and the Campaign for Better Transport .
However, rail services in Wales, eastern England and northeast England perform much less well.
Even though services in London are well used and have benefited from major investment, passenger satisfaction “is hindered by concern about cost and overcrowding”, the report says.
It adds that there are improvements to be made everywhere, with services in Wales, for example, being less well-used and being less accessible than in other regions, as well as suffering low passenger satisfaction levels.
The report also says that eastern and northeast England “have relatively sparse rail networks, making services inaccessible to many people”.
Stephen Joseph, the chief executive of the campaign, said: “The research exposes the huge disparities in the quality of train services across the country. Importantly, it suggests the answer is to give local administrations more control over their rail networks.”
Matt Lovering, transport practice director at Credo, said: “The research highlights important issues for rail right across the country.”
Peter Wilkinson, franchising director at the Department for Transport, said: “Credo’s study raises important issues about the relative performance of the rail industry across the UK. There are challenges for all regions in improving the performance of our railways.”
A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which speaks for the railway industry, said: “While there is always room for improvement, rail passengers are travelling on services that are unrecognisably better when compared to 15 years ago.”