Transport User Voice – Rail passengers see fragile green shoots of recovery

31 July 2017

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

Having spoken to more than 27,000 passengers our latest National Rail Passenger Survey, 83 per cent surveyed were satisfied with services, up by three per cent on last year.

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

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, 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 recovery in passengers’ experience with a number of factors. 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.”

Some of the highlights of this survey include:

  • overall satisfaction increased significantly by three per cent to 83 per cent 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).

 You can see all the full results here.

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