Freeze Bus And Rail Fares Until Standards Improve

in Transport

Bus and rail passengers are getting a raw deal.  There should be no more fare increases until the quality of service improves according to the General Consumer Council, the passengers’ watchdog.

According to an official independent survey, passenger perceptions of standards of service on buses and trains are at all time low. Scores for key features such as punctuality, cleanliness and heating and ventilation are all well below the average for the previous five years. · NIR passengers rated the punctuality of trains at only 58 out of a maximum of 100, 17 points below the five year average. · Citybus users gave the company a score of 60 for punctuality, 9 points less than the five year average. · Only Ulsterbus travellers report little decline in punctuality, they rated Ulsterbus at 77 compared with 78 over the previous five years. “Passengers deserve a better service than they are getting”, said Maeve Bell, Director of the General Consumer Council. “Buses and trains give worse value for money than at any time for the past five years. Action by the companies to tackle the problems is needed urgently.” Note to Editors The monitoring survey is conducted twice a year by an independent research firm (PricewaterhouseCoopers). More than 3,000 passengers are interviewed for each survey. The most recent figures relate to autumn 1998.

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