Rail passenger satisfaction still too varied – autumn 2013 NRPS results

21 January 2014

Passenger satisfaction with rail services still varies too widely across Great Britain, said the watchdog today.

The National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS), published today, is one of the largest published passenger satisfaction surveys of rail passengers in the world. It found that, in autumn 2013, overall satisfaction with rail services was 83 per cent.

David Sidebottom, acting chief executive of the independent watchdog Passenger Focus, said:

“There are gaps of around 20 per cent between the best and worst-performing services, and satisfaction with value for money varied from 28 to 82 per cent.

“Although generally satisfaction has remained fairly high over the last five years, we want to see a more consistently high level of service for passengers, wherever they may be travelling to and from.”

The key factor in rail passenger satisfaction remains punctuality. The satisfaction rating has dropped since the last Autumn NRPS – from 83 to 79 per cent – reflecting a drop in actual punctuality over this period. However, passenger punctuality ratings have barely changed in the last five years (in 2008 it was 81 per cent).

How train operators handled delays dropped from last year’s 44 to 40 per cent satisfaction – and varied between 23 and 69 per cent across the country.

Although this is a slight improvement on the situation in 2008 (when this factor scored 37 per cent), it is disappointing considering the amount of work that has gone into helping operators better manage and communicate during delays.

Satisfaction with value for money scored 45 per cent – down from 47 per cent in autumn 2012. The survey was carried out between September and November 2013, before announcements on rail fare increases, which would be expected to have some impact on the next round of NRPS.

For this wave of NRPS, we spoke to almost 30,000 passengers. For the first time, we have also produced at-a-glance guides to individual operators’ results as well as the Great Britain, Scotland and Wales headline results and recent trends.

The full report can be downloaded here: https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research/publications/national-rail-passenger-survey-autumn-2013-main-report.

Later today the at-a-glance guides will be available here: https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research/national-passenger-survey-introduction

You can also explore the data in more detail using our data tool: http://data.transportfocus.org.uk/train/nps/question/service-overall/.


Notes to editors

About us

Passenger Focus is the independent consumer organisation representing the interests of rail users nationally and bus, coach and tram users across England outside London.

We work to make a difference for rail, bus, coach and tram passengers. We’ll do this by:

  • providing authoritative advice for industry based on sound research 
  • securing improvements to services – both big and small-scale 
  • helping passengers with advice and information 
  • campaigning for change 
  • acting on rail passenger complaints.

About NRPS

The rail National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) is one of the largest published customer satisfaction surveys of rail passengers in the world and is released as an official statistic. Twice a year we speak to around 30,000 passengers and produce satisfaction ratings for around 30 factors including punctuality, staffing and cleanliness.

For further information please contact Dervish Mertcan, Communications Officer on 0300 123 0847 / 07918 626 045, or dervish.mertcan@transportfocus.org.uk

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