Results of the Spring 2016 National Rail Passenger Survey
30 June 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
Results of the Spring 2016 National Rail Passenger Survey reveal many passengers are feeling the strain, according to Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus.
“Simply getting on a train has become a struggle for some”
Commenting on the result Mr Smith said: “As passenger numbers rise and welcome investment is put in place some passengers are having a difficult time with delays and cancellations making journeys stressful. Simply getting on a train has become a struggle for some.
“Passengers’ main need is for a reliable railway. Our latest NRPS results, in London and the south east in particular, clearly show that for many this is not happening right now. Passengers want their reliable railway back.”
National Rail Passenger Survey shows an 80 percent overall satisfaction level
In brief, the Spring 2016 National Rail Passenger Survey results revealed:
- commuters – 72 per cent
- national total – 80 per cent
- London and the south east area – 78 per cent
- commuters – 61 per cent
- national total – 73 per cent
- London and the south east area – 70 per cent.
Nationally, the percentage of passengers satisfied with their journey overall was 80 percent. This did not vary from the previous year which also recorded an 80 percent satisfaction level. Furthermore, 83 percent of passengers were satisfied overall with their journey in autumn 2015.
For London and the South East, 78 percent of passengers were very or fairly satisfied overall. This once again equalled figures from Spring 2015. Passenger satisfaction levels for those using Southern Services were affected by industrial relations problems, and the impact of major improvement works and existing problems with trains and track.
For long-distance operators the proportion of passengers who were very or fairly satisfied overall was 88 percent, showing now change from the previous year. Regional operators also equalled the Spring 2015 result with an 85 percent satisfaction level.
The figures reveal a significant improvement for two operating companies. Virgin Trains and Great Western Railway witnessed a noticeable improvement in overall satisfaction levels. However, Gatwick Express, Arriva Trains Wales, Southeastern, c2c, and Virgin Trains East Coast all recorded a decline.
The highest ratings for overall satisfaction were achieved by Grand Central (96 per cent), First Hull Trains (94 per cent), Virgin Trains (92 per cent), Chiltern Railways (91 per cent) and Heathrow Express (91 per cent). The lowest ratings for overall satisfaction were given to Southern (69 per cent), Southeastern (69 per cent), Great Northern (74 per cent), Thameslink (74 per cent), and Abellio Greater Anglia (77 per cent).
Commenting on its high passenger satisfaction figures, Fraser Brown, Heathrow Express Director said, “Heathrow Express customers want the fastest most efficient experience possible when travelling to and from the UK’s busiest airport.
“Our recent investment has increased customer satisfaction in core service areas.
“Our team is committed and this feedback from our customers shows we are the best air rail link in the country.”
Transport Focus has called on the industry to better manage planned and unplanned disruption, getting services back to normal as soon as possible and keeping passengers informed and boosting compensation to help ease the pain.
“We know that there is more to do to keep improving and to give passengers the excellent services they expect”
Commenting on the results, Jacqueline Starr, Managing Director of Customer Experience at the Rail Delivery Group said: “We know that there is more to do to keep improving and to give passengers the excellent services they expect. Our customers must be at the heart of everything we do.
“With ever-growing demand for rail, large parts of the railway are full. That’s why billions of pounds are being spent to provide much-needed extra capacity and more reliable, modern services which meet our customers’ needs.
“Everyone in the railway is working hard to create a bigger, better railway for Britain and to make passengers’ journeys better from start to finish.”