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

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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."

 

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  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 125.

    83% are satisfied that the railways are still rubbish. But at least they are satisfied.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 124.

    119.
    Khuli
    hhmm thats not public ownership though is it . . . . still private/ share holders. Think youve missed the point there

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 123.

    £32 Billion. What would you do with it? Invest in defence, the NHS, education? No, instead George Osborne is using it to create his own Thomas the Tank Engine railway set!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 122.

    Yorkshire 75
    Sounds just like the survey I completed at work recently, A much larger proportion of company executives were satisfied with their lot than the lower grades, cant imagine why.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 121.

    Trains... ah yes, I remember them. Don't get many down here these days, they're trying to stop Inter-City services at Plymouth, forgetting that Cornwall (home to many MPs 2nd holiday residences) is the UKs most popular summer destination. The A30 cannot cope on an Summer Saturday. Flights to Newquay Airport for a family of 4 are probably cheaper from the North.

    Happy with trains ? What trains ?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 120.

    Like the crime survey, unemployment figures etc, a load of old cobblers. Perhaps who ever published these figures would like to explain who they asked?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 119.

    115.Its All Pants
    I want to know is why are we paying for it when we dont own the train service/lines etc shouldnt they be paying for it? or have I missed the point ?
    ---
    I guess you've missed the point then. Tracks are owned by Network Rail, not the train companies.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 118.

    "Rail satisfaction at record high"

    Eh? We have an expensive and yet unreliable rail service and that is in areas that get rail coverage because we have huge areas of the country that has zero rail service. I guess people are easily pleased.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 117.

    I know, lets do our own survey. For those who are satisfied with their service vote me down, those who are disatisfied vote me up. I await with baited breath!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 116.

    113. cheddy
    Far from hating it, i think London is a fantastic city and visit several times a year by train. I think the downside of the daily commute outweighs the benifits you may think you are getting.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 115.

    112.
    thelevellers
    I agree but be cant afford YET we're about to be forced in to paying 32billion (thats an estimate so probably double that) on a speedy vanity train set that TAX PAYERS WILL NOT OWN BUT PAYING FOR, for the private companies. I want to know is why are we paying for it when we dont own the train service/lines etc shouldnt they be paying for it? or have I missed the point ?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 114.

    The obvious success of this biased report will be the same for the consultation process for HS2.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 113.

    108. neill17
    Sorry but certain industries, like the financial services, are primarily based in London. People want to succeed and are happy to pay more to be there, but that's no reason to charge them more for a sub-standard service.
    You might hate london, but people there are still citizens and most of the are tax payers too.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 112.

    Nationalise the railways now.

    They should be run for the public, not for the shareholder elite.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 111.

    @94.Little Welsh Dragon

    "i'd love to know who they asked, last week out of 10 journeys only 2 ran on time."

    I've filled out Survey forms twice recently. The forms were given out on the platform and ask about that trip, not general service. Both times my train ran OK, so that was what I had to write. I do wonder if the guy with the forms would've disappeared were there serious disruption though.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 110.

    @98 "Now we just need to introduce driverless trains (like the Dockland Light Railway) and things will get even better..."

    Yes driverless trains would be better. At least there would be one more seat for the long suffering passengers. This survey is propaganda.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 109.

    Travelled on off peak train suited, booted and laptopped. Surveys being given out but only to those who didn't look as though they commuted by train regularly or at peak times. They also looked in the category were they would qualify for reduced cost travel.....I was studiously ignored...

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 108.

    Why oh why are all these London comuters complaining about the cost of their tickets, terrible sevice and never able to get a seat but they still do it year in year out. For heavens sake find alternative employment without a commute to London, cut back on what you spend, think about improving your quality of life instead of new cars and foreign holidays, it does work you know!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 107.

    is this for real? a joke or something because everytime Im on a train it stinks its over crowed, people are stressed because they've booked a seat but it taken, then there the delays and the train loos well, you might as well pee on the floors because you end up walking in it! no joke.
    102.
    1L19
    you got it so right what happend to our back bones.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 106.

    I had to get the train into London during rush hour a couple of months ago - 'satisfied' is the last word I would use for the experience.......and here's hoping I never have to do it again!

 

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