The wisdom of crowds: satisfaction survey reaches millionth passenger

08 November 2016

The millionth passenger has had their say on rail services in Britain.

The independent watchdog Transport Focus today spoke to the millionth passenger as part of its National Rail Passenger Survey. Transport Focus chief executive, Anthony Smith handed over the survey to Matthew Barker (pictured) at London Euston station.

Millionth passenger, Matthew Barker, commutes to Milton Keynes with London Midland trains.

Transport Focus millionth passenger Matthew Barker Millionth passenger and Transport Focus chief executive

The survey is the largest published rail satisfaction survey in the world.

From determining franchise targets, transforming Network Rail stations and helping the British Transport Police make our railways safer, the National Rail Passenger Survey plays a vital role in improving passengers’ journeys.

It has become a well-established tool used by the rail industry and government to improve passenger satisfaction.

The millionth passenger, Matthew Barker, said:

“My daily commute to Milton Keynes needs to be as easy and as stress free as possible. I’m glad my train looks to be on time today.

“It’s great that I’ve had the opportunity to have my say on my train journey to help improve future services.”

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

“As passenger numbers rise and investment continues it is vital that the voice of rail passengers is heard.

“Our mission is to get the best deal for passengers. The National Rail Passenger Survey helps us make a difference and influence decisions on their behalf.”

Key facts and figures:

  • The National Rail Passenger Survey is the world’s largest published customer satisfaction survey of rail passengers and is released as an official statistic.
  • Each year Transport Focus speaks to around 55,000 passengers and produces satisfaction ratings for more than 30 factors including punctuality, value for money and the ability to get a seat.
  • In last year’s survey commuter satisfaction was 72 per cent, national total – 80 per cent, London and the south east area – 78 per cent and 86 per cent on London Midland.

Transport Focus is working to modernise how passengers are surveyed by introducing online surveys, shorter questionnaires and measuring passengers’ trust.

The watchdog also recently created an online panel to provide new opportunities for transport users across the country to get involved and give their views.


– Ends


This year’s survey started in September and runs to November. The results will be published in January 2017.

The Spring 2016 NRPS was published on 30 June 2016. The report can be downloaded here.

Transport Focus continues to work to revitalise the National Rail Passenger Survey and ensure it continues to meet the rail industry’s needs. From spring 2017 a shorter questionnaire will be offered to passengers both in the traditional paper format but also as an online option if that’s what they would prefer.

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