“WE DON’T trust you” was the message yesterday from long-suffering rail passengers to the cabal of profiteers that run the network.
Watchdog Passengerfocus revealed the latest damning verdict on private train operating companies following research involving thousands of travellers.
It made bleak reading for industry bigwigs facing an increasingly rocky ride as they bid to keep skimming millions a year from public subsidies.
Passengers delivered a resounding thumbs down on issues including punctuality, reliability and value for money.
Busy south-east commuter routes were among some of the least trusted when it came to their basic function — delivering a train service.
The Southern franchise, which serves routes from London to the south coast, propped up the table with a minus 29 trust rate.
First Great Western, South Eastern, First Capital Connect and Greater Anglia all had trust ratings below minus 20.
Among the handful of franchises to escape a negative rating was East Coast, the publicly run route from London to north-east England and Scotland that faces a rushed reprivatisation under Tory plans.
Rail union RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said the survey “does not surprise us in the slightest.”
“Why would people trust private train companies whose only objective in life is to hack back staffing and services to the bone while whacking up fares for the travelling public in the name of pure and unadulterated greed?
“Passengers are set to get hit with another inflation-busting fare increase when the figures are announced next Tuesday while the private operators are laughing all the way to the bank.”