Nearly half of rail commuters are ‘frequently stressed out’, study finds

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Nearly half of those who commute to work by train are regularly stressed out by their journeys, according to a new survey.

A poll of 3,994 commuters found that 17% missed out on family time, 9% were disciplined at work and 6% said they had to spend more on childcare as a result of train delays.

Some in the study, commissioned by consumer group Which?, resorted to drastic measures with 4% saying they moved house because of the delays they faced on trains.

Commuter Jonathan Lee-Smith said he was so fed up with delays that he moved from Blackpool to Devon.

“The problems with Northern meant I wasn’t able to get to and from work when I needed to,” he said.

“It was affecting my sleep and social life. It made me miserable. It got to the point where I wasn’t happy with anything so I decided to make a change.”

Which? managing director of public markets, Alex Hayman, said it was “shocking” that the transport system was having such a negative impact on commuters.

“Its failures are affecting people’s health and employment, and some are even forced to move home as a result of the disruption,” he added.

Consumer distrust of the rail industry has grown from 27% to 32% in the past year, according to another Which? study.

Only second-hand car dealers were trusted less in the findings which covered 12 industry sectors.

Major transport issues saw train punctuality slump to a 13-year low last year.

One in seven trains were held up for at least five minutes in the year up to 8 December – the worst performance since September 2005.

New timetables, signalling failures, strikes and extreme weather all contributed to the delays last year.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has since launched a review by ex-British Airways chief executive Keith Williams, who will look at all parts of the rail industry.

Robert Nisbet, the regional director at the rail industry’s body – the Rail Delivery Group – said the operators were rebuilding parts of the network to improve punctuality while refurbishing carriages to make journeys more “comfortable”.

He added: “We want to go even further, which is why we support more fundamental reform of the railway that sees the public and private sectors working together to unlock benefits for the economy and our customers.”

(c) Sky News 2019: Nearly half of rail commuters are ‘frequently stressed out’, study finds

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