Passenger views of Northern and TransPennine rail franchises
04 December 2012
Independent passenger watchdog Passenger Focus has today published its research into what passengers want from the Northern and TransPennine rail services – whether they remain separate or are combined into a single franchise.
The research includes data from the National Passenger Survey and qualitative research with passengers on the Northern and TransPennine Express (TPE) services to examine their views of the current operations and to identify the issues that the new franchise should address.
We found that passengers value the mix of local and longer-distance services provided by the two operators. Services are regarded generally as punctual, reliable, and suitable for passenger needs. However, there are several issues regarded as particularly important for improvement:
- better quality (age, functionality and cleanliness) of trains on the Northern franchise
- more carriages to reduce overcrowding, especially at peak times, and with improved luggage space
- enhanced airport services.
There were also other concerns, including access, security and staffing at smaller stations, availability of information, the adequacy of timetables for modern lifestyles, and confusion about fare structures and rules, with notable unease about levels of fare evasion.