New Welsh rail operator must deliver promised improvements warns passenger watchdog

29 January 2019

Passenger satisfaction with upkeep and repair of trains in the closing weeks of the Arriva Trains Wales rail franchise* fell to 61 per cent, compared to 69 per cent for the same indicator a year previously. In results for Wales from the Autumn 2018 latest National Rail Passenger Survey, satisfaction with the cleanliness of train interiors also fell to 68 per cent (from 74 per cent in autumn 2017).

Commenting on these results David Sidebottom, Director of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

“Against the backdrop of continued fare rises, these highlight why the new operator Transport for Wales is rightly focused on efforts to improve rolling stock and other aspects of the passenger experience.

“Trust among passengers in Wales won’t recover until there is a step-change in performance and day-to-day services deliver a more reliable railway that is better value for money. In the longer term the UK Government’s Rail Review must also bring about fundamental change.”

“Passengers in Wales will welcome the fact that from today delay repay compensation becomes payable after only 15 minutes delay, a clear win for passengers that replaces the Delay Depay threshold of 30 minutes introduced at the start of Transport for Wales services.”

Across many indicators, the latest survey showed no real improvement in Wales, continuing a flat trend across the life of the Arriva Trains Wales franchise including overall satisfaction at 82 per cent.

Notes to editors

The National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS), is one of the largest published passenger satisfaction surveys of rail passengers in the world.

Across Great Britain, the Autumn 2018 wave took place between 1 September and 16 November 2018 when Transport Focus surveyed 26,766 passengers across all UK rail operators.

*In Wales the survey was conducted only between 1 September and 14 October, the date when the new operator Transport for Wales took over from Arriva Trains Wales.

Available to download

  • the full report
  • at-a-glance guides for Great Britain as a whole and individual train companies.
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