The results are in. Passengers have spoken. The latest wave of the Passenger Focus rail National Passenger Survey is out.
The results reflect the variable performance that some passengers faced in early 2013. There continues to be a gap between the best and worst performing services – satisfaction with train operators ranges from 76 to 95 per cent. Value for money by route is even more striking with satisfaction levels going from 17 to 76 per cent.
Overall satisfaction has dipped. Passengers faced performance issues caused by weather, track and signalling problems, suicides and congestion on the network. Also early year results tend to be more affected by weather. However, it is positive to note that cable theft has become much rarer as a result of industry and police action.
The main publication of these results is just the tip of the iceberg. We can cut the data by age, gender, time of day and ticket type. Did you know that annual season ticket holders in London and South East record the lowest value for money scores? Female, long-distance leisure passengers travelling on Advance tickets record the highest value for money scores. We can track satisfaction with bigger stations. We can see how satisfaction has changed over time and work out what is underpinning why passengers are saying they are satisfied or not.
Getting trains on time remains the key factor behind satisfaction for most passengers. However, over time this has changed as performance has steadily (despite recent blips) got better. Interesting that cleanliness of train interiors is rising as a factor driving satisfaction. It looks as though passengers are become slowly and steadily more satisfied with performance. How delays are dealt with, for those who experience them, continues to be the biggest factor behind dissatisfaction.
For the first time, we have also produced at-a-glance guides to the Great Britain, Scotland and Wales headline results and recent trends. These and previously-published NPS reports can be downloaded from the Passenger Focus website: http://www.passengerfocus.org.uk/research/national-passenger-survey-introduction.
Our new online search tool will be available later this year, which will allow much easier searching of this mine of data.