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19.06.13

National Passenger Survey shows satisfaction at 82%

Overall passenger satisfaction with the rail network remains high at 82%, the latest National Passenger Survey (NPS) shows.

Satisfaction has fallen slightly in the latest survey, covering January to March 2013, compared to the same period last year when it stood at 83%.

The only operator to improve compared to that period was Greater Anglia (from 73% to 77%). But it remains of the poorest performing TOCs, the survey showed. The one significant drop in satisfaction was London Midland, from 87% to 80%. That operator had significant problems in the autumn and winter with cancellations due to staff shortages.

The operators with the highest satisfaction were First Hull Trains at 95%, Heathrow Express (94%) and Grand Central (93%).

The lowest were Northern at 76%, First Capital Connect with 76%, Greater Anglia (77%), and Southeastern and Southern, both with 78%.

Satisfaction with value for money varied between 17% and 76%, and satisfaction with sufficient room to sit and stand varied from 44% to 95%.

Passenger Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: “Passengers faced variable performance in the early part of 2013. There continues to be a wide gap between the better and weaker performing services – satisfaction with individual operators ranges from 76% to 95%.

“Passengers are now the main overall funder of Great Britain’s railway, so it is vital that their key needs are met. Given that performance is the key factor that underpins most passengers’ general view of the railway, train companies and Network Rail must keep striving to get more trains on time.”

David Mapp, commercial director at ATOC, said: “Train companies know that to be successful they must meet the needs of passengers and deliver high levels of satisfaction and value for money. While these results show that there is room for improvement, passengers are voting with their feet and taking more journeys than at any time since the 1920s on newer trains, with more services arriving punctually.

“Year on year passenger satisfaction is still at a near record high and this is because train companies keep listening to their passengers, resulting in big improvements in areas such as cleanliness and facilities at stations, and connections with other forms of transport.”

Richard Hebditch, campaigns director for the Campaign for Better Transport, argued that operators regarded highly by passengers were those managed locally, making the case for more devolution of franchising.

David Horne, managing director for East Midlands Trains, said: “It’s great news that our passengers continue to rate our services so highly. We have made significant investment to improve every area of our business, and the survey reflects that and the hard work and effort of our employees in delivering significantly improved customer service.”

Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, added: “We run thousands of services each day serving hundreds of stations, so achieving strong scores in these circumstances is extremely encouraging.”

Tim Shoveller, managing director for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said: “I’m pleased that the most recent punctuality figures show more than 94% of our trains are running on time on a network which is one of the busiest in Europe. We carry three times more passengers each year than pass through Heathrow airport where flight punctuality is around 80%.

“Even so, we understand the impact that even the smallest delays can have on our passengers, and we are working hard to get even better. We are investing millions of pounds to increase reliability, with major schemes in place to improve signalling, the power supply, track and other infrastructure to make our customers’ journeys more reliable.”

Ian Bullock, managing director of Arriva Trains Wales, commented: “We have concentrated on improving the provision of passenger information, delivered a number of large station improvements and completed a major refurbishment to our fleet. Meanwhile, we continue to remain one of the most reliable and punctual services in the UK.”

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

Image c. Håvar og Solveig

Comments

Gunnar Von Strudelstein   23/06/2013 at 15:44

Ich musste zwei Stunden für eine verdammte Bastard Zug warten den anderen Tag gab es verdammt Blätter auf der Linie, und ich war in verdammte Preston gestrandet und die verdammten Cafe war geschlossen. Je früher Schiene wieder verstaatlicht, desto besser. Wer gewann den verdammten Krieg überhaupt?

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