June 26th 2012
Cardiff has the happiest rail commuters while Manchester has the most miserable, according to an index published by Campaign for Better Transport this week.
The transport charity looked at how train services in 11 cities around the UK performed on affordability, overcrowding and punctuality.
Unlike existing passenger satisfaction surveys, which are based on individual train companies, the Happiest Commuter Index is designed to show how the different attributes that make up satisfaction with train services affect overall happiness for commuters in specific cities.
The charity found that commuters travelling into Cardiff should be the happiest thanks to more affordable fares and less overcrowding, while Manchester’s commuters are likely to be miserable due to higher fares relative to wages. London commuters are also likely to be unhappy with high fares and the worst overcrowding.
Richard Hebditch, Campaign for Better Transport’s campaigns director, said: “Surveys show that affordability is the most important issue for passengers, even more than punctuality or overcrowding, and our list shows just how much it affects their experience of rail travel.
"Whilst passengers in Cardiff and Newcastle are likely to be happy with their commute, they may not be so happy if the cost of their season ticket starts to rise to levels seen elsewhere in the country, something we know the Government is seriously considering.
“With rail fares already sky high across the country, and the Government set to raise fares by three per cent above inflation next January, the chances of finding happiness on the daily commute are going to be slim.”
The Government launched a Fares and Ticketing Review in March. As part of the review, which ends on June 28, the Government is looking at the possibility of reducing the variation in fares between London and other regions. Reducing London commuter fares has been ruled out, which means fares elsewhere in the country could go up to reduce this regional disparity. In addition, regulated fares are set to increase by RPI+3 per cent in January across the whole of the UK, with a further rise in 2014.
You can see a full table of the cities and their rankings here: http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/files/happiest_commuter_index.pdf
To take part in the Fares Review visit: fairfaresnow.org.uk