Rail services for Hemel Hempstead improve over the last four years - but have dropped compared to six months ago

More than 160 passengers had to be ejected from  a rowdy late-night train headed towards Northampton.
More than 160 passengers had to be ejected from a rowdy late-night train headed towards Northampton.

Rail users are less satisfied with services than they were six months ago, according to the latest National Rail Passenger Survey.

London Midland saw its overall satisfaction rate fall from 86 to 85 per cent, leaving it ranked as the 12th best rail operator out of 26.

But the company noted that year-on-year satisfaction had gone up, for the fourth consecutive year.

A London Midland spokesman said: “This is another good score following four consecutive year–on-year increases in overall satisfaction.

“London Midland’s 85 per cent customer satisfaction rating is now higher than average scores for the whole rail industry and the London and Southeast sector, by four and five percentage points respectively.

“Northampton to London and West Coast routes have performed particularly well with Northampton commuters giving London Midland our best rating in three years.”

Passengers’ satisfaction fell in 23 of the 35 measures over the last six months, with the biggest drops being in how customers rated ‘The helpfulness and attitude of staff on the train’ and ‘The availability of staff on the train’.

Passenger satisfaction rose in nine areas, the best being ‘Provision of station facilities’.

1,112 people were quizzed for their views of services on London Midland, which runs services from London Euston to Northampton, via Hemel, Berkhamsted and Tring.

Out of the 26 firms London Midland was rated 10th for value for money of tickets, 16th for punctuality, ninth for dealing with delays, and 17th for passengers having sufficient room to sit or stand.

The company spokesman added: “We welcome this feedback. Many of the areas where passengers say they want more improvements are being addressed as part of our current £15 million investment programme.”