East Midlands Trains toilets praised but punctuality panned

The results of a passenger satisfaction survey have been released
The results of a passenger satisfaction survey have been released

East Midlands Train passengers are less satisfied with the punctuality of trains – but more impressed with the state of their toilets – than they were a year ago.

The results of a passenger satisfaction survey, carried out by the independent watchdog Passenger Focus, were revealed this week.

East Midlands Trains operates trains from stations including Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough, Market Harborough and Leicester.

More than 1,100 East Midlands Trains passengers were asked their opinions on a wide variety of issues, including facilities on board trains and stations, helpfulness of staff, car parking, value for money and punctuality.

The survey was carried out between September 2 and November 11 last year.

According to the results, 86 per cent of passengers rated the overall service as ‘good’ or ‘satisfactory’, although this marked a four per cent drop compared to the 2012 survey.

In terms of punctuality, East Midlands Trains saw a drop in satisfaction.

Although 80 per cent of passengers said the firm was good or satisfactory in this area, this was an eight per cent drop compared to the survey from the previous year.

While only 49 per cent of passengers said they were satisfied with the toilet facilities on board trains, this represented a six per cent increase on the figures recorded in the spring 2013 survey.

Another area where East Midlands Trains saw an increase was in availability of seating on trains, which saw a six per cent increase to 76 per cent satisfaction compared to the 2012 survey.

However, satisfaction with the availability of staff in stations dropped by seven per cent to 64 per cent satisfaction during the same period.

David Horne, managing director for East Midlands Trains, said: “Well over eight in 10 of our passengers remain satisfied, however as a company focused on improving levels of customer service, it is disappointing that the latest research shows a drop in how passengers feel about their rail service.

“There is no question that 2013 was a challenging year for passengers and train operators across the whole of the UK rail network, which at times was affected by severe weather and infrastructure issues.

“Many of the people surveyed were users of Nottingham station where major construction work has been taking place to re-build the station. Inevitably, this construction work, and the re-signalling project over the summer has had an impact on the latest scores.

“We also know that punctuality and reliability are the key driver of passenger satisfaction and these factors are also clearly reflected.

“Driving up customer satisfaction remains a top priority for our team, from managers to our frontline employees. We are very clear that everyone who plays a part in running the railways has work to do to ensure we better meet the expectations of our customers.”

The full survey can be found at www.passengerfocus.org.uk/research/national-passenger-survey-introduction.