National Rail Passenger Survey Consultation

25 July 2016

Consultation on potential changes to the National Rail Passenger Survey

The National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) is a well-established and well-respected tool used by the industry and government to monitor passenger satisfaction and how train companies perform on this key dimension.

The survey has been in existence for 15 years during which time it has evolved in line with changes in the industry, passenger behaviour and stakeholder expectations. It is no longer the survey that was initially conceived and following both technical and stakeholder reviews, we believe the time has come to update NRPS to better reflect today’s railway and the varied needs of both passengers and stakeholders.

Given the importance of NRPS to the industry – and to its passengers – any changes need careful consideration and management. There is general agreement that the survey needs ‘refreshing’ and in particular that the current questionnaire length represents a substantial burden on passengers who complete it – and on whose continuing co-operation we all rely.

Accordingly we have consulted with key industry stakeholders regarding the potential changes so as to inform our final decisions. Our proposals were unveiled at a consultation event in July 2015. The consultation document issued afterwards is available below.

Following a period of consultation and feedback (collected via an online questionnaire) we have now published our feedback report. We thank those organisations that provided feedback on our proposals. We have taken care to balance the needs of the varied users of NRPS and the imposition it makes on passengers to achieve what we intend to be a better survey for passengers and stakeholders in the future.

Please click on the links below to access the supporting documents.

We have developed a shortened core questionnaire available here which has been piloted alongside the Spring 2016 NRPS fieldwork.  In the pilot we also offered the option of an improved online version of the questionnaire for those passengers who prefer to complete the survey online rather than on paper. The results of the pilot are available here.

Our intention is to run the Autumn 2016 wave of NRPS ‘as is’ without substantive changes. Planned changes will be implemented from Spring 2017 following a full review of the pilot findings.

We have established a ‘Stakeholder Forum’ which met in February 2016 and again in July. The presentation slides from the February event are available here and from the July event here.