New figures out today show a 9% improvement in customer satisfaction with regional train company Great Western Railway, as investment in new trains, additional staff and more reliable infrastructure starts to pay off.
Customer satisfaction has risen to 87% and an all-time year high, and an 9% improvement on last year’s autumn results with local train operator Great Western Railway, according to the National Rail Passenger Survey from independent passenger watchdog, Passenger Focus.
GWR has attributed the figures to the continued hard work of colleagues throughout the business as their work to deliver improvements for customers throughout the region begins to pay off.
The company has introduced two new fleets of trains in the last 18 months, including its Intercity Express Trains on long distance services and Electrostar trains in the Thames Valley, which have provided around 25% more seats on some routes. The official figures show customers reported not only an 9% increase in overall satisfaction but a 12% improvement in reliability; an 8% increase in the availability of seating (level of crowding); an 4% increase in the comfort of seating and a 11% increase in the space for luggage, as GWR’s modern bullet-style trains have entirely replaced 43 year-old slam door style trains.
The report shows GWR also improved in the provision of information on board, a key driver of customer satisfaction; on carriage temperature and in the cleanliness of the train fleet.
As well as replacing the fleet of trains on long distance routes, GWR is operating new electric trains in London and the Thames Valley, some running with as many as 12 carriages, providing a significant increase in seating capacity.
GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:
“We have promised the biggest upgrade in a generation on the Great Western route; and in the last two years we have been working hard to deliver just that – with new fleets of trains, more staff, and more modern and improved track infrastructure.
“I am delighted that this hard work is starting to pay off. Not only are our customers enjoying the benefit the new trains are bringing, but their experience has become the norm, reflected today in our best ever overall satisfaction scores.
“The work doesn’t end there. In December this year we will launch a new timetable and the biggest change on our network in 40 years, making the most of our new fleets to bring even more frequent services, offering more seats and quicker journeys.”
Fieldwork for the NRPS Spring 2019 report was conducted during February and March. Since then GWR train performance has continued to improve and now the public performance measure (the industry measure of daily train punctuality) is now over 90%.