More than 80% of local rail users are satisfied with their service, according to a recent survey.

The independent watchdog Passenger Focus found customer satisfaction with the South West Trains (SWT) network was 81%.

But for the network, which has services through Aldershot, Farnham, Farnborough, Ash Vale, Camberley and Fleet, that was down 4% on this time last year.

Tim Shoveller, managing director of the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said: “Eight in 10 of our passengers remain satisfied with their service, but we know everyone who plays a part in running the railways has work to do to ensure we better meet the expectations of customers.”

The data, published on Tuesday January 21, showed 80% of customers said they were happy with reliability and punctuality. Nearly 40% of passengers were happy with the way delays were dealt with.

Questionnaires were handed out at stations and 29,398 people took part nationwide, with 2,023 commenting on the SWT network.

The survey was carried out between September 2 and November 11, before construction work started at Fleet and Farnborough Main stations . Both will see their car parks increase greatly in size as part of a £2.8 million project. A new decked car park, which will provide 243 extra spaces, will be built in Farnborough while the number at Fleet will rise from 153 to 448.

The extensions, expected by March, have been funded through a Department for Transport initiative by Network Rail, the project is part of a tranche of bids from the £100m station commerc-ial projects fund.

Mr Shoveller pointed out the latest data was collected during the period the UK was hit by the St Jude storm, which had a severe impact on the South and South West.

He said: “Over the past few months, we have experienced some of the worst storms in decades. Passengers and employees had to deal with very difficult conditions. As well as working hard day-in, day-out to deliver a better service, we are committed to protecting the rail network for the future. We are targeting investment to reduce the impact of flooding, strengthen embankments and deal more effectively with fallen trees.”

In the survey, carried out by Passenger Focus twice a year, customers were asked about five key priority areas: punctuality and reliability; train capacity; value for money; satisfaction with stations; and how well train companies deal with delays. Mr Shoveller said his firm was investing millions in the year ahead to ‘make a difference’ across every area that was a priority for passengers.

Improvements this year include extra staff at the busiest stations, extra carriages to provide an extra 23,000 peak time seats every weekday and free on-board WiFi on some lines.

The data showed satisfaction rates across the UK.

First Great Western, which had feedback from 3,080 users and has services running through Farnborough North, Blackwater and Sandhurst, showed a similar overall satisfaction rate with 80%.