East Coast and Grand Central ahead in passenger satisfaction survey

East Coast staff spell out their message to passengers at Kings Cross station

East Coast staff spell out their message to passengers at Kings Cross station

Published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

THE two York-based train operators who provide the York to London service are jubilant after scoring very high marks in the latest passenger satisfaction survey.

East Coast said its 92 per cent overall satisfaction rating in the National Passenger Survey was the highest score for the East Coast Main Line franchise at any time since the survey was launched in 1999.

The other firm, Grand Central, said its 96 per cent rating in the survey, conducted by independent transport watchdog Passenger Focus, made it the UK’s highest-rated train operator for customer satisfaction.

Karen Boswell, managing director of East Coast, thanked customers for responding so positively to many improvements which the organisation had already made.

“Our clear message to them and everyone who travels with us is that this is only the beginning,” she said.

“The improvements to our stations, particularly at London King’s Cross, have contributed to this impressive vote of confidence in our railway. We still have much more to do, particularly on punctuality and reliability.

"Recently, we’ve seen severe weather causing problems with Network Rail’s infrastructure – track, signals and overhead power lines.”

Richard McClean, Grand Central’s managing director, said: “We’re happy when our passengers are happy.”

However, he knew there were specific areas where the company needed to improve what it did.

“Passengers have also told us that they want more frequent services and we’ll continue to work towards extending our timetable to and from London throughout 2013.”

Another York-based company, First TransPennine Express, which runs services from York to Scarborough and cities such as Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool, scored an 89 per cent overall satisfaction rate on the route, which was up by four per cent.

Managing director Nick Donovan said its satisfaction rating since 2004 had improved by 14 per cent which reflected its investment in station facilities, trains and staff development. “Our trains are more reliable than ever before,” he said.

But Ian Bevan, managing director of another York operator, Northern Rail, said he was disappointed that the number of satisfied passengers on his trains had fallen slightly, from 83 to 80 per cent, year on year.

“We know that the punctuality of trains is one of the key concerns for our passengers and during the survey period our services were affected by exceptional weather,” he said.

“Since then, we have been working hard to recover performance to levels our passengers rightly expect.”

Comments (6)

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12:17pm Wed 30 Jan 13

timcore says...

I travel regularly with TransPennine and I've never been asked to complete a survey. I don't know anyone who has either. Have they just made up these results?
I travel regularly with TransPennine and I've never been asked to complete a survey. I don't know anyone who has either. Have they just made up these results? timcore
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

timcore wrote:
I travel regularly with TransPennine and I've never been asked to complete a survey. I don't know anyone who has either. Have they just made up these results?
Same here: I travel 35,000 miles a year by train and no-one's ever asked me what I think.
[quote][p][bold]timcore[/bold] wrote: I travel regularly with TransPennine and I've never been asked to complete a survey. I don't know anyone who has either. Have they just made up these results?[/p][/quote]Same here: I travel 35,000 miles a year by train and no-one's ever asked me what I think. Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: 0

2:13pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Stanley J Krammerhead III Jr says...

I have the displeasure of using TransPennine Express twice a day and, likewise, I've never been asked to complete a satisfaction survey.

If I was, I'd be unlikely to give a ringing endorsement to their crowded overpriced trains.
I have the displeasure of using TransPennine Express twice a day and, likewise, I've never been asked to complete a satisfaction survey. If I was, I'd be unlikely to give a ringing endorsement to their crowded overpriced trains. Stanley J Krammerhead III Jr
  • Score: 0

9:29pm Wed 30 Jan 13

TERRIER3 says...

i use trans pennine quite a lot and have to say i have no complaints, every train in the counrty gets overcrowded, thats life stop moaning and get on with it
i use trans pennine quite a lot and have to say i have no complaints, every train in the counrty gets overcrowded, thats life stop moaning and get on with it TERRIER3
  • Score: 0

2:34am Thu 31 Jan 13

Magicman! says...

The overcrowding on TPE is a result of them improving the frequency of the service combined with the government (DfT) refusing to allow the trains to be extended to 4 carriages in length, which was then exaccerbated when DfT gave TPE the services between Manchester and Scotland, which took away several 3-coach trains (which would have been used to boost services between York and Manchester to 6 coaches long) from this side of the hills to run over there instead. Over the next year class 350 electric trains will be delivered and tested on the northwestern route so as to give us back our 185's by the May 2014 timetable, and this will also introduce a 4th journey every hour between York and Manchester - this will start at Newcastle and run through to Liverpool via Manchester Victoria, will depart York westbound at 14 minutes past the hour, and will be the quickest transpennine journey available.

East Coast has scored their highest customer satisfaction results for several years, which hasn't been matched since the early days of GNER (during their 1st stay of execution, when they got the franchise again things went downhill a bit). And this high result shows how hard the staff and their management at Directly Operated Railways has worked to reverse the damage than was done by National Express East Coast whereby simply making money to keep up with paying the ludicrously-high premium payments back to the government was all that mattered. This should be a key point the government should take note of before they start the procurement to tender process for re-letting out this franchise shortly. Government-owned DOR has done a better job than private NXEC ever did.
The overcrowding on TPE is a result of them improving the frequency of the service combined with the government (DfT) refusing to allow the trains to be extended to 4 carriages in length, which was then exaccerbated when DfT gave TPE the services between Manchester and Scotland, which took away several 3-coach trains (which would have been used to boost services between York and Manchester to 6 coaches long) from this side of the hills to run over there instead. Over the next year class 350 electric trains will be delivered and tested on the northwestern route so as to give us back our 185's by the May 2014 timetable, and this will also introduce a 4th journey every hour between York and Manchester - this will start at Newcastle and run through to Liverpool via Manchester Victoria, will depart York westbound at 14 minutes past the hour, and will be the quickest transpennine journey available. East Coast has scored their highest customer satisfaction results for several years, which hasn't been matched since the early days of GNER (during their 1st stay of execution, when they got the franchise again things went downhill a bit). And this high result shows how hard the staff and their management at Directly Operated Railways has worked to reverse the damage than was done by National Express East Coast whereby simply making money to keep up with paying the ludicrously-high premium payments back to the government was all that mattered. This should be a key point the government should take note of before they start the procurement to tender process for re-letting out this franchise shortly. Government-owned DOR has done a better job than private NXEC ever did. Magicman!
  • Score: 0

8:21am Thu 31 Jan 13

pedalling paul says...

Don't forget the insanely high hire charges that TOC's have to pay to the Train Leasing companies. No incentive to hire in more carriages to meet peak demands.Anyway there are not enough to go round,That's why the DfT has stepped in as a "broker" to tell the TOC's which trains they can (and cannot) hire,
Don't forget the insanely high hire charges that TOC's have to pay to the Train Leasing companies. No incentive to hire in more carriages to meet peak demands.Anyway there are not enough to go round,That's why the DfT has stepped in as a "broker" to tell the TOC's which trains they can (and cannot) hire, pedalling paul
  • Score: 0

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