Big money, big plans…

16 July 2012

Today’s big rail spending announcement by the Government is good news for passengers.  Our passenger research shows that their main priorities for rail improvement include more trains arriving on time, more and longer trains and a better chance of getting a seat – these announcements will help meet these aspirations.

However, value for money does remains a concern. Passengers will want to see the Government strive to avoid above-inflation fare increases. The Government’s welcome aim of curbing year on year above-inflation fare rises will only be met if the industry can be run more efficiently and these investments are delivered in a cost-effective way. That is a huge challenge for the industry. Also, the work to deliver the new trains, track and equipment must be done in a way that minimise the effect on today’s passengers, otherwise this will feel like painful growth.

What is also really welcome is the commitment emerging in new franchises to build in passenger satisfaction targets, measured by our National Passenger Survey. This will really help passengers and ourselves hold the industry to its promises.

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