Insurance company Tempcover has been studying social media to see what we think about our public transport operators.

People don’t usually rush to social media to report that they have had a pleasingly uneventful journey.

Use of Twitter and the like escalates when buses break down and the wrong kind of snow is on the line.

Northern Rail operates trains from Carlisle to Newcastle, Barrow and Leeds, when the mood takes it.

Tempcover found that just 36 per cent of comments about Northern in the past year were positive.

The scary thought for anyone who has endured a bumpy ride in one of its antique carriages is that several companies were regarded as worse. The UK’s most appalling train operator according to social media is Southern Rail with just 28 per cent positive comments.

Next worst is Great Northern. The company’s name demonstrates the kind of logic which makes the train network such an interesting place.

Great Northern doesn’t seem very great. And it isn’t very northern: its trains run no further north than Cambridgeshire.

The Caledonian Sleeper managed an impressive 76 per cent positive comments.

It says a lot about trains in Britain that the most popular service is one on which passengers spend most of their time unconscious.

Tempcover put each comment into one of four categories: joy, sadness, disgust, anger. Those sound like a list of rejected names for Snow White’s dwarfs.

Great Northern triumphed in the highly competitive ‘angriest train passengers’ category. An impressive 66 per cent of comments about it were classed as angry.

Perhaps these were from passengers who boarded with the expectation that the train would be taking them to the north.

London Underground ranked highly for joy - 39 per cent. Those must have been the passengers who found a seat.

It was also top for sadness: 11 per cent. If I was a train company boss, that would upset me more than passengers being angry or disgusted. It’s like when a teacher says “I’m not angry with you - I’m disappointed.”

As for bus operators, second-worst was Arriva, which operates the Carlisle-Newcastle route. Is it fair to blame Arriva for the A69?

And as for Tempcover, much of its business is vehicle insurance. What a surprise that the company should produce a survey claiming public transport is less than perfect.