Passenger Voice July 2016: Anthony Smith’s editorial

29 June 2016

28,000 survey forms returned to us, the results are now in. Passengers have told us how satisfied they were with their journeys from January to March this year.

The National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) focuses on the journey the passenger has just undertaken and covers a representative sample of the current users of Britain. Through being able to link the results back to specific trains we produce rich, useful data the train companies and others, such as Network Rail, can act on.

Overall satisfaction is at 80 per cent. However, there is no ‘average’ passenger and that is why we break down the satisfaction statistics to look at different groups. Commuters continue to record the least satisfactory experiences. While commuters usually do record somewhat lower scores there are some really wide variations particularly in London and the South East.

It’s not all doom and gloom: I’m pleased to see some really positive results for passengers – both Great Western Railway and Virgin Trains achieved a higher overall score this year. Northern Rail and South West Trains both scored higher on the value for money rating.

But overall, the message is clear. The industry needs to better manage planned and unplanned disruption – getting services back to normal as soon as possible and keeping passengers informed.

And it must do something to help ease the pain – make some offer that shows passengers they haven’t been forgotten and that acknowledges problems experienced. Implementing the threshold for Delay Repay to 15 minutes from the current 30 would go a long way.

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