Passenger Voice November 2015: You and your train company
30 October 2015
New Great Western franchise begins
October saw the start of the new Great Western franchise and the name change of First Great Western to Great Western Railway. The new franchise, which will run until 2019, promises greater capacity and some quicker journey times. Other passenger benefits include increased car parking and improvements in ticketing and information.
We are pleased to see the contract include National Rail Passenger Survey satisfaction targets that the operator must meet. Great Western will also be obliged to produce a Customer Report, outlining its promises to passengers and showing how they are delivering against those commitments.
Great Western will continue to fund a post at Transport Focus and some extra passenger research. Nina Howe is the passenger manager for Great Western Railway. She is working to ensure that the interests of passengers across the network remain at the fore over the life of the franchise. Click here to read about Nina.
Throughout the refranchising process Transport Focus worked closely with the Department for Transport (DfT), ensuring that passenger needs and expectations were placed at the heart of the decision-making process.
Passenger research – West Coast and South Western
We are currently carrying out passenger research for two rail franchises due for renewal in 2017.
We held a series of focus groups with passengers travelling on West Coast services. This research looks into their experiences of the current services and explores what they would like to see delivered in the future.
We have also carried out focus groups with South Western passengers to understand their opinions on existing services and their priorities for the new franchise.
The next step is for us to produce reports detailing the findings which will be published by the end of the year. Both pieces of research will inform our thinking and contributions as these contracts are developed.