FirstGroup's train operators have received improved customer satisfaction scores in the latest National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) published by Transport Focus today.
The news comes despite a number of ongoing challenges facing our train operations which impact our passengers, including industrial action and delays to infrastructure upgrades.
The survey of customers by the independent passengers' watchdog is undertaken twice a year. These latest results relate to Autumn 2019. At that time, FirstGroup operated Great Western Railway (GWR), Hull Trains, South Western Railway (SWR) and TransPennine Express (TPE).
GWR scored 86% overall passenger satisfaction, an year-on-year increase of eight percent. Satisfaction in train punctuality rose by an impressive 13% over the year.
Hull Trains improved on its already chart-topping rating, with 92% customer satisfaction, 10% higher than the UK average of 82%. The operator has consistently registered headline scores over 90% in the last five years of the survey.
SWR showed steady, if small, improvement, with an increase in overall passenger satisfaction of one percent. More than four out of five asked (82%) were satisfied with the operator's information about train times and platforms
TPE's overall satisfaction score rose six percent on the Autumn 2018 survey, up to 79%, with 86% satisfied with ticket-buying facilities, also a rise of six percent over the year.
First Rail Managing Director Steve Montgomery said: 'We put customers at the heart of everything we do, so it's good to see improved customer satisfaction scores in the latest Transport Focus survey.
'For instance, we have been introducing new trains on all our train operations, to give people more seats and improve their journey experience. This process will continue with our newest franchise, Avanti West Coast.
'We know we have a lot more to do, and services on some of our operations has not been up to scratch in recent weeks, but this demonstrates how we are determined to provide the best possible service to our customers, across all our train companies.'
Fieldwork for the NRPS Autumn 2019 report was conducted during September and October 2019 - before FirstGroup took over the operation of the West Coast franchise, now called Avanti West Coast, in December 2019.
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