Rail Passenger Satisfaction

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The results of the autumn 2008 survey by Passenger Focus are out this morning. To remind you, Passenger Focus is the body that monitors the rights of train passengers and each half year it interviews 25,000 passengers with paper based surveys at railway stations and on trains across the country.
Overall satisfaction is up across the three nations (higher in Scotland & Wales than England) but “value for money” still lags behind and this was done before the quite large hike in passenger fares in January. The survey for this half might show a further decline due to those increases and the tightening of people’s purses. Or will it?
Part of the problem with customer satisfaction is understanding the survey and how to interpret it. For example anyone answering that “value for money” question in January just after the rises is more likely to be unhappy. As you move in time further away from that price rise the impact is lessened because people have got use to paying the fare. So should you look at January passengers differently from those trabvelling in June?
Secondly if your train is overcrowded and your standing you satisfaction levels will be lower. Since there are fewer rail travellers at the moment (at least on all the long distance trains I’ve been on since the beginning of the year) satisfaction levels will rise because there are more available seats. The more empty seats the higher the satisfaction levels.
Anyway enough carping. It’s good news that we travellers seem to be more satisfied with the services we receive. So congratulations to Heathrow Express, c2c, Chiltern, Scotrail and Merseyrail who all achieved higher than 90% satisfaction.
The next target? To reach some of the figures achieved by the airlines

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