Satisfaction with rail near all-time low in the north

28 January 2020

Rail passengers in the north are reporting the lowest satisfaction since surveys began after being blighted by years of dire performance. 

The transport user watchdog today releases its latest National Rail Passenger Survey of almost 28,000 passengers. More than 2000 of these travelled on Northern or TransPennine Express.  

Just 72 per cent of Northern passengers were satisfied with their last journey , unchanged from last year when it was the lowest since the survey began 20 years ago79 per cent of TransPennine Express passengers were satisfied, up from lowest-in-a-decade 73 per cent following the 2018 ‘timetable crisis’, but remain at the bottom end of the national table. 

Chief executive Anthony Smith said:  

Passengers tell us that their biggest priority is rail services they can rely on to actually get them to work or home on timeWhen that doesn’t happen, it impacts the rest of their livesPoor scores for how delays were handled show that passengers still aren’t getting the help they need when facing disruption. 

“Northern and TransPennine Express passengers have suffered for a long time now. Enough is enough. We welcomed yesterday’s announcement of Delay Repay 15 compensation for TransPennine passengers – and we remind everyone to claim whenever they are delayed – but something must be done to restore reliability to the railway in this area. 

“We want to hear from the operators and Network Rail how they intend to get services back on track.” 

Transport Focus will use the evidence from the survey as it continues to push for wide-scale reform of the industry, and immediate improvement in reliability for the worst-affected areas.  

Key satisfaction scores (for more, please see the full report

Notes to editors 

  • Media contact – Misha MccGwire / 0300 123 0821.
  •  Transport Focus is the independent transport watchdog representing the interests of: 
    • rail passengers in Great Britain 
    • bus, coach and tram passengers across England outside London 
    • all users of England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads (the Strategic Road Network). 

We work to make a difference for all transport users. 

  •  We spoke to nearly 28,000 passengers from 2 September to 10 November 2019, and asked them to rate the journey they had just made. Passengers are asked to take part online or on paper, at 700 stations and on board trains across Great Britain. We select enough passengers to be representative of the entire network. Questionnaires are distributed at different times of day and across all days of the week. 
  • Nationally more passengers were satisfied overall – 82 per cent, up from autumn 2018 (79 per cent). 
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