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Rail passenger satisfaction levels on the rise in the East

PUBLISHED: 16:22 29 January 2013 | UPDATED: 16:22 29 January 2013

Greater Anglia train on the Norwich to London service run by Abellio.  Photo: Bill Smith

Greater Anglia train on the Norwich to London service run by Abellio. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2012

Two out of the three rail companies that run services in and out of Norfolk have been named as the lowest scoring when it comes to passenger satisfaction, according to new figures.

Greater Anglia and First Capital Connect feature towards the bottom of the league table in Passenger Focus’ latest National Passenger Survey (NPS). However, both rail operators said customer satisfaction was on the increase and pledged to make further improvements to services.

The independent survey found that 83pc of passengers using Greater Anglia services last autumn were satisfied with their journey, compared to 77pc in 2011.

Satisfaction rates for First Capital Connect, which runs trains between King’s Lynn and King’s Cross, were at 81pc, which represents an increase for the third year in a row.

Officials from East Midlands Trains spoke of their delight after getting their highest passenger satisfaction score of 89pc.

Passenger Focus said the biggest factor in satisfaction levels was rail punctuality and service quality was improving. The report added that Greater Anglia had “improved markedly”, but still had “a long way to go”.

Dutch firm Abellio took the operation of local rail services 12 months ago. Ruud Haket, managing director of Greater Anglia said the company had worked hard to improve and invest in customer service at stations and on trains and upgrade facilities and had recently achieved a new high for train service punctuality. He added that they have also launched a comprehensive customer service training programme for its frontline employees.

“These are very encouraging results and I am pleased that the efforts the Greater Anglia team has made to invest in and improve customer service, combined with the closer working alliance with Network Rail, is already delivering better customer service and performance.

“We recognise there is more to do and our focus is to build on these improved levels of satisfaction and to continue to invest in improving the service we offer our passengers,” he said.

First Capital Connect added that satisfaction levels had increased since it scored 75pc in 2009.

Managing director Neal Lawson said: “We are pleased to have registered improvements in autumn passenger satisfaction for the third year running. In particular, investment is paying off in satisfaction with punctuality and journey times, the attitudes and helpfulness of our staff, the security of our services and the overall station environment. However, we recognise we have more to do, particularly in the area of dealing with delays.”

David Horne, managing director for East Midlands Trains, said there had been a 2pc year on year increase in satisfaction.

“We’re all really proud to have achieved our highest ever level of passenger satisfaction. Our staff are committed to working hard day in, day out, to provide the best level of service for our passengers and these results are great recognition of their work.

Passenger Focus chief executive, Anthony Smith, added: “Passengers are saying the quality of rail services is improving. The combination of increased income from fares, government investment and a clearer focus on performance and dealing with disruption is beginning to pay off. However, more work needs to be done. Satisfaction on individual routes still varies widely from 76 to 97 per cent.”


  • So there we have it, all those whingers moaning about how they can't get out of Norfolk quick enough are a minority. So never mind spending millions on trying to shave five minutes off train journey times - lets spend the money on cycle paths so local people can get to their local jobs quicker.

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    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • I commute Mon to Fri and pay a substantial amount for the privilege of often delayed trains, dirty carriages, poor security, poor English speaking foreign station attendants with a reluctance to tackle drunks, trouble makers and fare dodgers. I sit in first class all the time just so that I can get a seat and when asked why I am there with just a normal season ticket by the inspector, I just show my ticket and say that I have paid enough to ve able to sit down and not one has attempted to fine me yet......try it folks, you will be surprised as it works.

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    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • I thought privatisation was supposed to improve train services. A key quality indicator should be what % of profits do these Cos return, in investment, to their product? Precious little given the decades-old rolling stock trundling down to London each day. Likewise the need for 'toilet stops' at eg Ely re East Midlands - Im curious to know whether David Home considers his Cos on-train toilets 1st world or 3rd world. Over the last 25 years we have been paying way over the odds for rubbish train services delivered against quality metrics that clearly dont meet the needs of passengers.

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    Richard Clifford

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Gee, I guess we have a lot to be thankful for. Either that or we've lowered our expectations so much we've given up on anything better than this. ;->

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    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • It has to be said that... The UK railway system has been running for 60 years or more ... And so with that fact... Most people would expect the UK to have learnt a lot about how to run a railway... Sadly the reality is that our railways are way to expensive to use, and a crazy multiple unneeded confusing price structure to rip the public off.. .. Often too crowded and too many standing which is logicially against health and safety.... There is after 60 years so many problems.. Which is appalling as euro trains are cheaper and often better.... How many will afford the new annouced train system is questionable as many cannot afford the current system now... There is more to do... Shame it should have been done years ago... And we should have brilliant train system NOW ... Not still waffling on about making it continually better at more and more expense to still be behind euroland...and others..

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    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • What was the question Did the train leave the right station and get there on the same day They are havin a laugh

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    No to tory boy

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • I travel Norwich to London and back for work on average once a month. No word of a lie, I'd say about 60% of my journeys are delayed for some reason...wiring and signalling failures, cable theft, bad weather, engine breakdowns. Am I just unlucky? How are they collecting these rosy stats? They're not reflected in my experience.

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    beeston bump

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

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