Passenger Voice May 2015: Customer Reports – passengers welcome train company transparency

30 April 2015

Over the past few months we’ve told you about the Customer Reports research we’ve been carrying out. These are now a requirement for new franchises and must clearly set out to passengers the train operator’s plans for services.

Our previous research on Passenger Power! showed that rail passengers want a greater voice in franchising and more information on future plans. We wanted to explore reactions to the first wave of Customer Reports and understand how they can best meet passengers’ needs in future.

We’ve now completed a series of more than 20 focus groups looking at the reports from Govia Thameslink Railway, c2c and Abellio Greater Anglia.

Overall, passengers approve of the idea of the report and regard it as positive idea that new franchisees are required to make this information publicly available. However, although seen as a step in the right direction, people’s trust in the report is affected by their previous experiences with that operator.

This could be improved by operators ensuring that they deliver on the commitments set out in the report as well as honestly communicating to passengers if promises have not been kept. Many people also said they would like summary information to be displayed as they wouldn’t necessarily pick the report up and read it in full.

Overall feedback to the Customer Reports has been positive, but in order to make this an effective dialogue with passengers, train companies should learn from others’ approaches and continue to make improvements. We will be discussing these findings with the Department for Transport to see how they can be reflected in future franchises.

Read the report here.


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