FIRST Great Western, one of the train operators servicing Swindon station, said that there had been a drop in the number of customers complaining about the company last year.

It cited a report from the Rail Passengers' Committee Western England the official body representing rail passengers in the West covering the period April 2002 to March 2003.

"We have worked hard in the last year to improve services for customers and we're pleased the committee has recognised this," said First Great Western spokeswoman Edith Rodgers.

The operator accepted that its punctuality rate, with only 71.9 per cent of its trains running on time, would have to get better.

However, it said years of under-investment in the infrastructure meant it would not improve overnight.