National Passenger Survey: Rail satisfaction at record high

Passengers waiting for a train More than 31,500 travellers were interviews for the Passenger Focus survey

Related Stories

The number of passengers satisfied with their rail journey is at a record high but fewer than half of people think ticket prices are worth the money, a Passenger Focus survey says.

The 85% satisfaction levels in autumn 2012 are a record since the survey began in 1999.

But only 47% were satisfied with their ticket's value for money, compared with 46% the year before.

The National Passenger Survey surveyed 31,626 travellers.

The research was conducted between 1 September and 12 November 2012, with "top-up" interviews carried out within the last three weeks. People were asked for their opinion on the journey they were taking on that day.

The satisfaction levels stood at 84% in autumn 2011.

Anthony Smith, chief executive officer for Passenger Focus, said that while "things are moving in the right direction" more needed to be done to improve rail services.

"There are some trains that are very crowded, there are some routes that are very crowded that are desperately crying out for more investment in terms of more trains and longer trains.

"Quite a bit of that is in the pipeline and it will come at some point in the future.

"This is an average picture, it doesn't reflect every single passenger's experience but I think it does show the industry is starting to broadly move in the right direction."

Fare pricing

With regard to the low number of passengers satisfied with their ticket's value for money, Mr Smith said: "We've had years now of above-inflation fare rises.

"We've now got a government promise to row these fare rises back so that they're pegged at inflation only. The sooner that promise becomes a reality the better."

Start Quote

The report's strong results include significantly improved scores in satisfaction with services, stations and dealing with delays”

End Quote Michael Roberts Association of Train Operating Companies

The number of those satisfied with the amount of room for all passengers to sit or stand went up 1% to 69% compared with autumn 2011.

The report also says passenger satisfaction with punctuality and reliability has risen 2% to 83%, a level only achieved once before, in autumn 2009.

For the long distance operators the proportion of passengers who were very or fairly satisfied overall was 89% - this figure was 86% in autumn 2011.

For regional operators, 86% of passengers were very or fairly satisfied with their journey overall, a drop of 1% from last year when 87% were satisfied.

The lowest ratings for overall satisfaction were given to Northern Rail (80%), First Capital Connect (81%) and Southern (82%) while Greater Anglia, First Great Western and London Midland all had 83% of passengers satisfied.

The highest ratings for overall satisfaction were achieved by Grand Central (96%), First Hull Trains (95%), and Heathrow Connect (94%) while Heathrow Express, c2c, and London Overground all had 93% of passengers satisfied.

Railway 'success'

Bruce Williamson, of campaign group Railfuture, said he was not surprised that rail satisfaction levels were high.

"Since privatisation, train companies have slowly got their act together. Punctuality, for example, seems to be improving.

"But the two main bug bears remain congestion and fare levels. We know there's huge dissatisfaction with fares because we have the highest fares in Europe."

Mr Williamson said fares needed to come down in "real terms" because "Having fare rises at the rate of inflation just maintains the status quo."

Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said the report was "further evidence of the success of today's railway".

"The report's strong results include significantly improved scores in satisfaction with services, stations and dealing with delays. These are a testament to the industry's hard work and major government investment in rail.

"We recognise there is still much to be done. Train companies are working with Network Rail on a long-term programme to continue improving services and to deliver better value for passengers and taxpayers alike."


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    How many of those surveyed, commute from Reading to London in standard class?

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    I don't give a HS2... I paid £100+ to stand up for two hours on a train. The plus side was it was to a AIRPORT! SHOULD BE THE EMAIL.


  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    I can only presume that the surveyors couldn't board peak hour trains to survey commuters because they were too overcrowded, thus giving slewed results.

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    The number of passengers satisfied with their rail journey is at a record high..........
    Amazing how adaptable people are, or put it another way, how they accept their oppression!

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    I don't know who these people have surveyed but this complete nonsense. I think if they surveyed people getting off any rush hour train it would be near 100% dissatisfaction.

    My journey into works means I have to wait for three trains to go past before I can even get on one, and when I do it's totally packed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    Who on earth did they ask in this survey? Railway employees, members of the government, MP's travelling at the public's expense? Surely in any business the main indicator of customer satisfaction is value for money. Even in this survey only 47% said rail tickets were value for money, for any other business that would be a disastrous rating. Rail travel is a rip off.

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    And out of the 31,626 passengers questioned, how many exactly were commuters travelling to London at peak time?

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    Good news. Yes tickets are expensive, but running and maintaining railways properly is expensive. Hopefully this will go some way to silencing those dinosaurs who advocate a return to the bad of days of nationalisation...Now we just need to introduce driverless trains (like the Dockland Light Railway) and things will get even better...

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    Having I fallen asleep and woken up on April 1st? Rail satisfacion at a record high? Reduced supervision of pre-school children to produce better quality care? Proposed tax on fizzy drinks? British troops to Mali despite assurances it wouldn't happen? I give up!

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    London Trains are a lot busier now because people have moved out from London to the commuter belts, the congestion charge and less parking in London. Nothing to do with an "improved service". Twenty years ago when I started work the trains looked worse but the service was about the same and a lot cheaper, even taking into account inflation

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    Really!!!!??? Where did they find these people? Clearly not daily commuters from the South Coast to london!

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    i'd love to know who they asked, last week out of 10 journeys only 2 ran on time. I have not had a seat on approx. 60% of my trains despite my ticket costing £315 and my journey takes 1 hour.

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    I saw a fight on a train recently caused by a passenger showing off at how little he paid for his ticket, This incense a fellow passenger so much it came to blows!

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    Ah, but Rob 86. 'least us pommies can spell whinging and castigated

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    Funny, I'm using the train less and less because I'm getting less and less satisfied with it. It's not just the price but also all the third-rate new trains that are a fraction of the size of the ones they've replaced, with seats jammed in much closer together (enough to give economy class airlines a run for their money), and which are as comfortable as a plank of wood. And no luggage space.

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    Is it just me or do these headlines some time sound like they were manufactured by the governments??? I have not met a single person to date who would be satisfied with the current rail system. Yeah it is better than in India (probably) but then again it is far worse then a lot of developed countries which are also cheaper. Maybe I should just watch the cartoon channels for other made up stuff...

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    My experience of the 'face to face' satisfaction surveys is that they almost always take place on off peak services or at stations during off peak times. Reason being is that the peak time services in my area are so crowded that a surveyor couldn't possibly survey anyone - you barely get on the train as it is!! Those surveys therefore miss the thousands of disgruntled and delayed commuters.

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    Have just got back from a weekend away in the Holland and Belgium. I travelled from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, then to Antwerp and Hasselt, over to Brussels and finally Eurostar back to London.

    No problems at all until I went to catch the train home from Euston. Due to cancellations instead of getting back to Liverpool at 11pm I got home at 1.30am the next day after having to go via Manchester.

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    National Passenger Survey: Rail satisfaction at record high?
    Surely it depends what level you start from.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    Train overcrowding is just another indication of an improved service. It will take decades to turn around a Victorian railway system straved of funds by successive goverments. They are heading in the right direction, and should be congratulated. However during this period of very complex transformation, and the nature of winging pommies, they will of course be continually castagated.


Page 3 of 8


More UK stories



Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.