Passenger Voice March 2016: West Coast trains – what passengers want

04 March 2016

When new franchise deals are let we want to see passenger views at the heart of decisions about their services. That’s why we carry out research into the passenger perspective.

The West Coast franchise, currently operated by Virgin Trains, ends in April 2018 and the Department for Transport (DfT) is running a competition to find an operator for the next franchise. As part of the process the DfT asked Transport Focus to explore passengers’ current experiences, needs and hopes for future services.

We found that passengers are generally happy with value for money, journey experience, and reliability and punctuality. They want to see these good points at least maintained, if not improved. However, there are some key areas identified for improvement within the next franchise:

  • a fare structure that is transparent and easy to understand
  • a simple, seamless ticketing process
  • on-board enhancements to luggage storage, Wi-Fi and toilets
  • increased staff visibility and a proactive approach to customer service
  • overcrowding of concourse and train boarding issues at Euston station
  • customer recognition and reward.

We are now working with the DfT to highlight these and other issues to ensure the franchise reflects passenger needs.

You can find the report here.


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