Passenger Focus’s latest research shows 84% of passengers are satisfied with their journey but a breakdown of satisfaction scores reveals wide variations. On the best routes almost every passenger is satisfied compared with only 72% on the lowest scoring.
The independent passenger watchdog has today published a breakdown of passenger satisfaction scores within each train company with the launch of the latest National Passenger Survey (NPS).
Almost 31,000 passengers have responded to the independent passenger watchdog’s Autumn 2010 NPS, which rates Great Britain’s rail companies, train and station facilities. The survey was conducted between September and November, 2010, before major snow disruption on the rail network.
Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus chief executive said: “Passengers continue to describe the vast majority of their train journeys as either satisfactory or good. However, breaking the National Passenger Survey results down by routes marks a huge step forward in accountability and transparency. Passengers can now get a much better idea of how their train services compare to others run by their company as well as those across Great Britain.
“The rail industry should be congratulated for agreeing to take this step. We can now move forward to discuss how the industry’s main punctuality figure, the Public Performance Measure, can also be broken down into routes which will help give passengers a much richer picture of how their services compare.”
The research found the best routes are Grand Central, Southeastern’s high-speed, Virgin Trains North Wales route and the impressive turnaround of the East Midlands’ Norwich – Liverpool service, which has improved substantially. The lowest scores were observed on First Capital Connect’s London-Bedford route, ScotRail rural services and National Express East Anglia main line routes (not including intercity services).
Value for money scores are up four points after the fares freeze in January 2010. Mr Smith said: “The value for money scores have also improved showing the positive effect of limiting the regulated fare rise train companies can impose on individual routes.”
The autumn survey shows an increase in overall satisfaction on East Midlands Trains where scores jumped 4% points to 88%. Franchised operators with the happiest passengers were Merseyrail (93% satisfied), c2c (91%), Chiltern Railways and Virgin Trains (90%). Open access operators also scored well: Wrexham and Shropshire (96%), Grand Central (95%), Heathrow Express and First Hull Trains (93%). Punctuality scores on some long-distance operators dropped with East Coast’s punctuality result falling seven points, while Grand Central and Wrexham & Shropshire were down five points.