Passengers have their say

27 January 2015

The latest National Rail Passenger Survey is out today. The headline figures mask, as ever, wide variations in the passenger experience. Overall satisfaction saw a significant drop – down 2 per cent – on last year. This is largely driven by patchy performance by some of the big London and South East train companies.

However, in some areas, especially where investment has bedded in, there is a better story. What we have also researched is the recent trends in rail industry performance, all drawn from publically available sources – you can find all the tables on our website. What it shows is how some passengers have experienced a really difficult period with the trend pointing downwards.

So, what next?

There is plenty of investment going into the railways – whether it is going to the right places is another matter. I don’t think simply changing management or franchises makes much difference – most of the people working on these issues remain the same.

Perhaps it is not the scale but the pace of change that is stretching the ability and capacity of the industry to respond? Whatever the causes we need an open, honest debate about what this rail network can achieve – otherwise long term trust and the credit for all this investment will not be built up.

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