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16.05.12

Passengers demand punctual and reliable Great Western service

The rail watchdog Passenger Focus has urged the Government to ensure that passengers’ priorities are taken into account in its decision over whom to grant the next Great Western franchise.

It says the top passenger priorities for improvement in the franchise are punctuality/reliability, being able to get a seat on the train, value for money, and train frequency.

Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus chief executive, said: ‘We’re now in the era of longer franchises, so it is more important than ever that the interests of passengers interests are placed at the heart of new franchise planning. The priority for passengers is being able to get a seat on clean, punctual trains – so it is essential that decisions focus on delivering these priorities.”

Passenger Focus’s response to the DfT’s consultation on the franchise has drawn on research with over 4,000 passengers using current services, National Passenger Survey (NPS) findings and other themed research.  

Passenger Focus also wants the following points to be addressed:

The disruption that passenger will inevitably have to face during the delivery of major infrastructure changes will need to be managed effectively and minimised.

Future population increases and economic developments will lead to further capacity pressures on the franchise, so there must be mechanisms in place to respond to this growing demand.

Ensure that Passenger Focus’s National Passenger Survey (NPS) plays an important role in measuring and improving the overall passenger experience.

Drives for cost efficiency should not overlook the important role of staff in delivering many aspects of service valued by passengers, particularly relating to information and engendering a sense of security.

Passengers are fully consulted over any proposals for significant changes to the timetable.

The full report is at www.passengerfocus.org.uk/news-and-publications/document-search/document.asp?dsid=5535

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

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