Letters: Peter Smith, March 1, 2016

30/1/15- Railways Minister Claire Perry visiting Amber Rudd's Rail Summit. SUS-150130-135130001
30/1/15- Railways Minister Claire Perry visiting Amber Rudd's Rail Summit. SUS-150130-135130001

The BBC reports the latest Which? survey of customer satisfaction with our rail ‘services’.

It is little surprise to see that equal worst with Southeastern Rail and Thameslink is Great Northern, closely followed by Abellio Greater Anglia. The three key areas of dissatisfaction are overcrowding, poor value and dirty trains. To add insult to injury we now hear of Great Northern’s plan to close all ticket offices. That will place us at the mercy of the very machines which are so often out of service, and it will mean that cheap offers will only be available online, thus disadvantaging the many people who don’t have online access. And, of course, the vital advice of very knowledgeable and helpful staff will no longer be available. Simply putting Great and Greater in front of a name, or doing expensive retro makeovers of stations like King’s Lynn, with signs saying British Railways, does not disguise the reality of a rail system that is increasingly not fit for purpose, a railway that will always put profit before people, in spite of the best efforts of excellent frontline staff.

It is worth noting that the highest rated rail company is that which was, until recently, the publicly owned, and highly profitable, East Coast Rail.

Peter Smith, Keeble Place, Gaywood