Latest Rail News

30.03.15

High-level satisfaction for tram passengers

Approximately 90% of tram passengers are satisfied with their journeys, across six network areas in the UK, according to the second Tram Passenger Survey (TPS) carried out by Transport Focus (the new name for Passenger Focus). 

Over 4,900 tram passengers in Blackpool, Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, Nottingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh were surveyed. 

The survey revealed that Edinburgh Trams, which was included for the first time this year, topped the “very satisfied” table. 

Edinburgh’s trams were also ranked above the other five light rail systems covered by the survey on a number of key criteria, such as punctuality and value for money, despite the problems in getting it constructed to begin with. It received an overall satisfaction score of 95%. 

Tom Norris, director and general manager at Edinburgh Trains, said: “This survey is a crucial benchmark for Edinburgh Trams and gives us an excellent way of comparing our passenger satisfaction with our peers and competitors.

“This is a good first attempt but we won’t stop our focus on improving until we score 100%. We are listening to our customers intently and with a number of positive changes on the horizon during 2015 I’m confident we can achieve even more.” 

The positive results should help cement the case for an expansion of the network, which was cut back during the troubled construction phase. 

Andrew Braddock, chairman of the Light Rail Transit Association, said that the integrated approach to the provision of tram and bus services by the City of Edinburgh Council provided a sound basis for the expansion of the tram network as the most user-friendly and environmentally sustainable means of urban mobility.  

“The tram is already becoming the mode of choice in the city and it should, over time, serve all the busiest corridors to provide greater capacity and help get people out of their cars,” he said. 

Overall, Transport Focus found that passengers continue to view trams as a cost-effective method of getting around town, with 61% of passengers expressing satisfaction with value for money. 

There has also been a slight increase in satisfaction with punctuality and crowding which reflects investment in new trams by networks such as Metrolink and Midland Metro, but these remain key issues for tram passengers in all areas, as does the way that operators handle delays when they occur. 

David Sidebottom, Passenger Focus director, said: “These results are good news for tram passengers, operators and transport authorities. 

“Continuing high levels of tram passenger satisfaction demonstrates what can be done when these survey results are used to identify and deliver improvements that matter most to passengers. And the evidence from some areas shows they are doing just that. For example, the introduction of more new trams in Manchester and the West Midlands has increased capacity and enhanced the passenger experience. The right approach can make a big difference.” 

(Image: c. Kim Traynor)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Long Branch Mike   30/03/2015 at 16:01

Great to see Edinburgh's trams are a success, and well designed to integrate well with the bus system. Manchester Metrolink should take note...

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