It’s been a tough week for Southeastern, with the latest Which? customer satisfaction survey placing the company joint last with Thameslink & Great Northern. Both companies achieved just 46% satisfaction levels and Southeastern’s passengers were particularly unimpressed with the punctuality and reliability of services, condition of onboard toilets and value for money.
Southeastern was quick to point out that the Which? poll had surveyed fewer people than the National Rail Passenger Survey, in which the company had scored 75% customer satisfaction. The official response also mentioned the fact that the company is part-way through a £70million refurbishment programme, but this will come as little comfort to the commuters and business travellers for whom Southeastern has failed to live up to expectations.
The news came just weeks after Southeastern hit the headlines when a disgruntled passenger launched a petition to strip the company of its franchise. To date, nearly 17,000 people have signed to express their dissatisfaction.
It seems, therefore, that the South East is somewhat under the cosh when it comes to transport networks. As the spectre of Operation Stack continues to hang over the region, Eurotunnel recently announced it will be seeking £22million in compensation from the UK and French governments over severe delays caused during last year’s Calais migrant crisis. If the gridlocks and frustrations of 2015 were to repeat themselves, combined with an unsatisfactory domestic rail service, are businesses in the South East being severely let down by our transport infrastructure?
Has your business taken steps to guard against further transport misery? We’d like to hear your views on how businesses can protect themselves against further disruption in the region this year.