Commuters are increasingly dissatisfied with rail punctuality – with the usual suspects of Southern and Southeastern faring worst.

The proportion of commuters satisfied with rail punctuality has fallen by four percentage points over the past 12 months, according to a Transport Focus report.

Just 61% of people travelling by train to or from work were found to be satisfied with the reliability of their journey, down from 65% year on year.

The operators with the worst overall punctuality ratings were Southern and Southeastern , which recorded just 53% and 56% respectively.

It comes at a time when MPs condemned Southern for recent disruptions and high staff sickness that had led to some commuters receiving written warnings from their employers for continual tardiness.

Chief executive of Transport Focus Anthony Smith, said: “Many passengers are feeling the strain. As passenger numbers rise and investment is put in place some passengers are having a difficult time with delays and cancellations making journeys stressful.

“Simply getting on a train has become a struggle for some. Passengers want their reliable railway back.”

Southern Rail

Network Rail and Southeastern issued a joint statement which pointed out that on the ongoing rebuilding work at London Bridge continued to affect services in the first quarter of the year.

Rail minister, answering criticisms of Southern in the Commons said that services had been improving and she condemned the unions for their strike action.

Labour MP for Hove Peter Kyle said: “The shambles that we have seen is turning into a crisis.

“I’m getting people writing to me who are being late for work every day and their bosses are giving them written warnings now. The Government seems to expect people to turn to their bosses and say, ‘don’t worry, by 2018 it will all be fine’.”

Read more Why commuters have an unusual take on Southern strike

Ms Perry said: “If your constituents would like to write to bosses, may I suggest they write to the union bosses involved, who I think are doing their members a grave disservice by bringing them out on completely unjustified grounds.

“Everybody understands that this railway has to get better. That is why the money is being spent, why so much work is going on with the operator and Network Rail.”

She said £2 billion of new trains are set to run on Southern routes but their introduction is being held up by the dispute over the role of conductors.

Brighton Green MP Caroline Lucas urged the Government to take the franchise into public ownership.

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