Transport User Voice February 2024 – Rail passenger satisfaction rebounds

31 January 2024

Latest Rail User Survey 

Overall passenger satisfaction with their most recent journey has recovered to 88 per cent in Transport Focus’s latest Rail User Survey.   

Passenger satisfaction in our previous two reports, covering journeys made in November and December, had shown a marked drop to 81 and 82 per cent respectively. These were amongst the lowest satisfaction scores since the survey began in September 2021. This sustained drop in overall satisfaction appeared to be driven in particular by lower satisfaction with punctuality and reliability and level of crowding on the train, which previous analysis has confirmed are most important in determining overall journey satisfaction.   

In the latest report satisfaction has increased for all measures in the survey, including an increase in satisfaction with the level of crowding on the train to 76 per cent, up from 67 per cent in the previous report. Satisfaction with punctuality/reliability has also increased to 77 per cent, from 72 per cent.  

November and December were difficult for many passengers with periods of significant disruption. During the period covered by the latest survey there had been some improvement nationally in train reliability, with fewer cancellations compared with the end of 2023. To avoid putting people off using trains the railway must improve day-to-day train punctuality and reliability.

When disruption does occur, how this is handled can make the difference between a minor inconvenience and plans being wrecked. We’ll be focussing on working with the railway to improve information during disruption in the year ahead.  

In our previous report we highlighted that during 2023 the gap in overall journey satisfaction between commuter and leisure passengers had increased. While for most individual aspects of the journey experience the gap in satisfaction between commuters and leisure remained relatively consistent during 2023, this gap had increased for cleanliness of the inside of the train, scheduled journey time and personal security. In the latest report the increases in satisfaction with many of the individual measures are greater amongst commuters. Improved commuter satisfaction appears to be a key reason for the recovery in headline overall journey satisfaction.  

We know day-to-day delivery of a reliable service is of paramount importance to passengers. Transport Focus will continue to monitor the railway’s performance and work with the industry to help drive improvements in passenger satisfaction.   


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