Great Western franchise news – Passenger Focus response
25 March 2015
Responding to news that First Group will continue to operate the Great Western franchise until April 2019, David Sidebottom, Passenger Focus director, said:
“Passengers will welcome the stability that this new contract will bring. However, they will want to be assured that it will deliver real, timely benefits to them. It is also critical that, given the scale of the works planned for the Great Western network, any disruption is carefully managed to reduce the impact on passengers.
“We know that passengers’ trust in the rail industry can only be boosted by delivering a consistent day to day service, honest communication and managing delays well. We will be monitoring this with research on passengers’ experience of the works at Reading and Bath this year.”
- Department for Transport press release: More seats, more services and 2 new fleets of modern trains for passengers across the west of England, Thames Valley and South Wales.
- Passenger Focus has consistently argued for the inclusion of National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) targets as a means of driving continuous improvement in customer experience.
- We also welcome the commitment to investment in new information screens and greater use of social media during disruption.
- Passengers also tell us that they want to see improvements in frequency and crowding so news that there will be additional services to the west of England as well as additional carriages for overcrowded services should be a positive step.