Rail companies could take comfort from the timing of the release of
a report from the Central Rail Users’ Consultative Committee on
passengers’ complaints, with the media more concerned about events
abroad and the anniversary of Diana, Princess of Wales’ death.
Connex South-Eastern’s Kentlink service featured in nine articles for a
67 per cent increase in cancellations while Great Western Trains’ record
of delays was highlighted in eight articles. Virgin Trains was
criticised both for delays and pricing structure. In contrast, ScotRail
was praised for ’outstanding achievements’ and Thameslink was recognised
as an improving service.
The Birmingham Post (27 August) called the level of complaints a
’tribute to the privatisation process’, claiming that in the days before
privatisation passengers felt that complaints fell upon deaf ears at
British Rail. The Times (31 August) revealed that lack of parliamentary
time meant that new legislation to set up a rail authority would be
delayed until 2000.
Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by the
Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at: