Growing satisfaction with train services

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A growing number of train passengers in the region have said they are happy with the service from East Midland Trains.

The autumn 2012 report of the National Passenger Survey has been published outlining passengers’ satisfaction with rail services across the country.

Of the 1,022 passengers quizzed about East Midland Trains, 89 per cent said the service was good and that they were satisfied – a two per cent increase on the previous period. Four per cent said they were dissatisfied or that the service was poor.

Other questions focused on the value for money – where 49 per cent said good or satisfied compared with 32 per cent who said poor or disatisfied; and punctuality, where 88 per cent were satisfied.

David Horne, managing director for East Midlands Trains, said: “We’re all really proud to have achieved our highest ever level of passenger satisfaction. Our staff are committed to working hard day in, day out, to provide the best level of service for our passengers and these results are great recognition of their work.

“We are still determined to keep improving further and hope that our huge station and train investment programme, and the continued commitment of our people to provide excellent customer service, will see these results grow and grow.”

Passenger Focus chief executive, Anthony Smith, said: “The passenger voice helps to drive change on the railways. It is clear that major improvements are linked to where passengers have spoken, and industry has acted. It is critical that industry and government continue listening to what passengers are saying, and basing investment and operational decisions around this.

“Passengers are saying the quality of rail services is improving. The combination of increased income from fares, government investment and a clearer focus on performance and dealing with disruption is beginning to pay off.

“However, more work needs to be done. Satisfaction on individual routes still varies widely from 76 to 97 per cent. Satisfaction with value for money nudged up by one per cent (to 47 per cent), with individual operators varying between 29 and 75 per cent.”

Passengers across Great Britain have reported record levels of satisfaction with train services– 85 per cent overall, with no operator scoring less than 80 per cent.

Many train companies and Network Rail areas have made noticeable improvements. East Coast is now level pegging with Virgin at 92 per cent overall satisfaction. Greater Anglia, with still a long way to go, has improved markedly and is now much more firmly placed in among its peers. Chiltern, moving many commuters every day, reaches 91 per cent. First Hull Trains has bounced back to a healthy 95 per cent and Grand Central leads the whole pack with 96 per cent overall satisfaction.

Autumn wave scores tend to be higher than the spring wave’s, as last year’s fare rises fade in the memory. However, this is still a promising score. The key driver of rail passenger satisfaction remains punctuality. While there are flat spots punctuality continues to head in the right direction overall, pulling satisfaction with it.

Investment in stations is also paying off. King Cross shows a 32 per cent increase in satisfaction, Waterloo 11 per cent and Blackfriars is also improving. Other stations are possibly showing the effect of rebuilding works.

This and previously published NPS reports can be downloaded from the Passenger Focus website:

http://www.passengerfocus.org.uk/research/national-passenger-survey-introduction