NORTHERN rail has been rated at the worst UK train company according to a leading consumer group.

The operator received the lowest satisfaction rate of any company in the latest Which? passenger survey.

Customers gave Northern a score of just 32 per cent for overall satisfaction.

The company was also rated the poorest for reliability, punctuality, value for money and availability ­— scoring just one out of five in each category.

The Which? survey said: "Northern was poorly rated across the board by leisure travellers and commuters alike. Mired by strikes, engineering works and timetable chaos in 2018, it’s no surprise.

"When rated by commuters it scored two stars for standing room and one star for everything else; including punctuality, availability of seats, customer service and value for money.

"Leisure travellers didn’t rate it much better, giving just two stars for seat availability and standing room, and one star for everything else."

Also rated poorly were Southern, Thameslink and South Eastern, who scored 34, 36 and 41 per cent respectively.

The highest rated operator was Island Line Trains which covers services in the Isle of Wight.

Island Line was given an overall score of 68 per cent and five out of five for punctuality, value for money and availability of seats; and four out of five for frequency.

In May 2018 a wave of changes to the national rail timetable were rolled, which Which? noted caused "unprecedented chaos for passengers travelling with Northern".

Cancellations are continuing to affect thousands of commuters in the region as well as causing knock-on effects for other rail lines.

One Ex-Northern passenger, Jonathan Lee-Smith, told Which? how he changed jobs and moved to a different part of the country following months of problems commuting to and from work.

He said: "I couldn't offer the commitment to my employer; it wasn't fair on them or me. So I took a new job without the commute."

According to the survey, in 2018 17 per cent of passengers missed out on time with family and friends as a result of rail delays.

A further nine per cent were disciplined at work, six per cent had to pay extra child care costs and four per cent even moved house.

Passengers had a slightly more positive experience when travelling by rail in their own time.

However Northern once again came bottom of the list, tying with Southern, scoring 43 per cent.

Merseyrail topped the leisure journey satisfaction rankings with a customer score of 72 per cent.

Northern have been approached for comment.