Grand Central tops satisfaction ratings in UK rail

Grand Central tops satisfaction ratings in UK rail

Grand Central has taken top honours for passenger satisfaction in a national survey of rail users.

Transport Focus today released figures for its twice yearly National Rail Passenger Survey for spring 2018.

Grand Central was ranked top for overall satisfaction, and best value long distance train operator for the sixth year running.

The National Rail Passenger Survey reveals that 95 per cent of Grand Central’s passengers were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their journey, placing the train operating company in joint top spot for overall satisfaction, ahead of national average figures of 81 per cent for all train companies and 87 per cent for long distance operators.

The NRPS results show that customers who travel from the north-east and Yorkshire to London, where there is a choice of three train companies, including Grand Central, are the most satisfied long-distance passengers with the value for money of their ticket.

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Grand Central achieved a value for money rating of 74 per cent compared with a national average of 45 per cent and an average of 55 per cent for long distance operators.

Richard McClean, managing director at Grand Central, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve been named as the number one company in the country in this latest survey, and we’re particularly pleased to have been named Britain’s best value train company by customers.

“Customer satisfaction is what matters to us, and we know we need to keep ticket prices affordable for the communities we serve.

“We pride ourselves on listening to what our customers want and we make real efforts to understand what they need.

“We’re always keen to take on passenger feedback, but more importantly we act on it.”

Grand Central, part of the Arriva group, is an established train operator which provides direct rail connections between towns and cities in Yorkshire and the North East and London.

Elsewhere in the National Rail Passenger Survey Transport Focus said passengers had experienced a perfect storm in the first half of 2018, buffeted by extreme weather and timetable chaos.

Earlier this year rail passengers battled the ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma.

Now some are faced with daily misery due to the timetabling meltdown.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “In the middle of widespread disruption on the roads, buses and elsewhere during the recent bad weather parts of the rail industry did well to run trains at all, let alone to a timetable.

“Inevitably, passenger satisfaction was also buffeted by the weather.

“However, overall, looking at this ten-week period we saw more general rail performance still under stress.

“A reliable railway remains the key driver of passenger satisfaction.”