Rail passenger satisfaction on the rise

Northern Rail
Northern Rail
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Passengers are more satisfied with the rail service on routes to and from Blackpool and the Fylde coast.

The latest national rail satisfaction survey, published by campaign group Transport Focus shows an upward trend with 83 per cent of passengers quizzed happy with the service provided by Northern.

A total of 86 per cent of those surveyed were satisfied with the speed of their journeys, up by seven per cent on the previous year

The quality of Northern’s stations was also scrutinised, with 84 per cent of people stating they were satisfied overall.

Meanwhile, 89 per cent of those surveyed were happy with the provision of on-station information and 83 per cent were content with the ticket buying facilities.

Richard Allan, Customer and People Experience Director at Northern, said: “It is encouraging that many of our scores are improving and we have firm plans in areas where customers want improvement, such as better stations and free WiFi on trains.

“The first of our refurbished trains are in service, the first new trains are being built, and new facilities are being built at many smaller stations. There is much more to come over the next three years as we modernise local rail services for the North.”

Northern’s satisfaction figures were below the national average for similar regional operators.

However they were significantly better than some other rail firms, including strike-hit Southern where just 72 per cent of passengers were content with the service provided.

The franchise, which includes all services from Blackpool North and Blackpool South was taken over by Arriva earlier this year.

The firm has ordered brand new electric trains which are currently being built in Spain and will operate from Blackpool once electrification of the route to the resort has been completed.

Passengers have faced a number of challenges over the past 12 months including a number of days of industrial action by guards at Northern.

Members of the RMT are in an ongoing dispute with the train company over the introduction of driver only operation. The firm has a deal with the Department for Transport to introduce the practice on half of all services.