Transport User Voice – March 2019 – Remedial notices for ScotRail
27 February 2019
Action to improve punctuality key to better satisfaction
The ScotRail franchise is the one of the train franchises in the UK that has specific Key Performance Indicators (KPI) linked to the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS). One NRPS KPI is a target for overall satisfaction – as measured by the twice-yearly NRPS (by Transport Focus) in autumn and spring. The target as defined in the Franchise agreement is 88.5 per cent.
ScotRail scored 79 per cent in overall satisfaction for the official autumn 2018 survey, published on 29 January 2019.
On 8 February 2019, Scottish ministers served a remedial plan notice on ScotRail on the basis that Transport Scotland is of the view that the franchisee is likely to contravene the passenger satisfaction KPI target of 88.5 per cent with the next survey (spring 2019), which is due to be published in June 2019.
This particular notice requires ScotRail to set out how it plans to put measures in place to improve overall passenger satisfaction results to ensure passengers can enjoy the full benefits of the ScotRail network. However, this challenge is closely linked to the previous remedial plan required to improve performance: ScotRail’s 72 per cent satisfaction score for punctuality/reliability is 10 points lower than autumn 2017 and is particular weak amongst commuters. When the impact of delays is removed, overall satisfaction is much higher.
With continued investment in the rail network providing new trains, greater capacity, and more frequent services on routes, the potential to provide a service that improves overall passenger satisfaction exists. But for that to go up, efforts to improve the overall satisfaction score must be combined with continued improvements to punctuality and reliability.