Credit: Transport Pixels. Used under CC BY 2.0.

In a recent report from the National Rail Passenger Survey, Northern Rail’s service covering Salford has been voted the worst in the country by customers.

Out of the four areas it covers in the North West, its ‘central’ service (which passes through Salford stations such as Crescent and Central) had the lowest customer satisfaction.

In the survey only 62 per cent of customers said they found their service to be satisfactory or good.

Issues with Northern Rail in Salford have been known to occur in the past, such as their blame of leaves on railways causing major delays and frustration from passengers.

Many passengers have taken to Twitter to vent their frustrations at the Salford Rail service with #NorthernFail becoming a symbol of customer dissatisfaction.

According to the report, passengers have found the service to be particularly unreliable due to frequent delays, with only 58 per cent finding the service to be punctual.

Only 61 per cent of passengers were satisfied with the level of crowding which customers have found to be an issue.

David Brown, Managing Director for Northern, said: “Although, year-on-year, Northern has improved in almost half the categories customers were surveyed on, the overall results are disappointing. However, when you consider the challenges faced by the rail industry in 2019, and in the north of England in particular, they are not surprising.

“We are sorry to any customer whose experience of Northern has been disappointing; our customers deserve the best possible rail service and we are working hard, alongside our partners, to improve performance.”

This information accompanies the recent news that Northern Rail is to be taken under government ownership after their troubled service. Northern Trains Limited, a newly formed subsidiary of the Department for Transport’s OLR.

Chris Burchell, Managing Director of Arriva UK Trains, said:

“We had a clear vision for the Northern franchise that would better connect the cities of the North with more frequent, reliable and modern services and unlock economic growth.

“It was clear however that, largely because of external factors, the franchise plan had become undeliverable.

“A new plan is needed that will secure the future for Northern train services. As such, we understand the Government’s decision.

“I am confident that as a result of the determination and hard work of the Northern rail team, they have helped set strong foundations for future improvement on the network.”

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