Improvements in rail punctuality reflected in independent passenger survey results

January 31, 2020

Improvements to rail punctuality across the Greater Anglia network last year have contributed to increasing satisfaction among rail passengers, according to the latest independent Transport Focus survey.

Overall satisfaction among rail passengers on the Greater Anglia network is now 81 per cent, according to the Autumn 2019 National Rail Passenger Survey – an increase of eight percentage points compared to Autumn 2018 and one point compared to Spring 2019.

This figure was even higher on some routes, with most satisfied customers on the Stansted Express route, with 90 per cent overall satisfaction. Customers on both Greater Anglia’s rural and intercity routes recorded 86 per cent overall satisfaction.

General customer satisfaction with punctuality/reliability saw one of the highest increases – up 11 points to 82 per cent.

Since the end of 2018, Greater Anglia has been on a punctuality drive to improve the performance of the railway in East Anglia, with some months of record-breaking punctuality in 2019, especially on the Great Eastern Main Line and Southend Line, which saw four successive months of over 94.5 per cent from March to June.

The improvements meant far fewer delayed trains with over 35,000 services that were late in 2018 arriving within one minute of their scheduled arrival time in 2019.

The biggest improvements in customer satisfaction, according the survey, were:

  1. Reliability of the internet connection on trains, up 13 points
  2. Punctuality/reliability, up 11 points
  3. Connections with other train services, how well company deals with delays, facilities for car parking, and availability of wifi at stations, which are all up by nine points.

There was also a six-point jump in customer satisfaction with frequency of services. Satisfaction with value for money also improved by five points.

Peak-time customers are much happier with the usefulness of information on trains about delays (up 28), punctuality/reliability and availability of seating at stations (both up 11) compared to Autumn 2018. In general, 75 per cent of peak-time passengers are satisfied, up nine per cent compared to last year.

For off-peak customers, top improvements in satisfaction are the reliability of the internet connection on trains (up 20), availability of wifi at stations (up 12) and the length of time the journey was scheduled to take (up 11), with an increase of overall satisfaction of eight points to 84 per cent.

Weekday passengers recorded the biggest increases in satisfaction for reliability of the internet connection on trains (up 14), punctuality/reliability and availability of wifi at stations (both up 12) and how well the train company deals with delays (up 10).

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia Managing Director, said: “It’s very pleasing to get results like this from an independent survey of our customers, but we are determined to do even better.

“We’re working hard to improve every aspect of the railway in our region, including punctuality, how we deal with delays and increasing the frequency of services. We are committed to providing a reliable service more and more consistently, avoiding the type of disruptive period we recently experienced on our regional routes, for which we apologise sincerely.

“We’ve also invested in enhancing our stations, with better facilities, new ticket machines and £25 million of car park improvements including installing Automatic Number Plate Recognition at 20 station car parks.

“We now have new trains on all of our rural routes and the roll-out is continuing on our intercity route, with all the new intercity trains due in service by Easter. This spring our new electric suburban trains are due to start entering passenger service on some of our busy commuter routes in Essex.

“We believe customers will start to see a further positive step change in service standards in the months ahead.”