Rail passengers see fragile green shoots of recovery

25 July 2017

Rail passengers in London and the South East are more satisfied with their railway journeys after a long period of patchy performance.

Transport Focus’s latest National Rail Passenger Survey, measuring satisfaction of more than more than 27,000 passengers, is published today.

The survey shows that a period of more stable performance has led to improvements in passengers’ experience. No train company’s overall satisfaction figures declined.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog, said:

“Passengers using services in London and the South East have seen an improvement with an increase in overall satisfaction from 79 per cent last year to 82 per cent this year. The figures for Southern in particular show a significant recovery in passengers’ experience with a number of factors including the helpfulness and availability of on board staff and also of staff at the station. Southeastern also saw their overall satisfaction scores increase by 10 per cent.

“Having said that, there is some way to go to reach a more acceptable position. Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Southeastern have the lowest scores. These green shoots are fragile and need nurturing. This recovery will be under pressure from upgrade works, industrial relationship problems and rising passenger numbers. So the industry needs to keep a relentless, ongoing focus on performance and reliability.”

Also in this Spring survey:

  • overall satisfaction increased significantly by three per cent to 83 percent since last year;
  • the companies with the highest overall satisfaction scores were Hull Trains (97 per cent); Heathrow Express (97 per cent); Grand Central (94 per cent); Merseyrail (94 per cent); Chiltern (92 per cent); and Virgin Trains (West Coast) (92 per cent);
  • the companies with the lowest satisfaction scores were Southern (72 per cent), Thameslink (75 per cent); Great Northern (79 per cent); Southeastern (81 per cent); and Great Western Railway (81 per cent).

Useful links:

Main survey report

‘At a Glance’ guides – individual train company’s results

Analysis of peak and non-peak passengers in London and the South East.


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