The latest National Passenger Survey released today reveals that ScotRail is rated more highly than UK train operators in 31 of 33 categories, including overall customer satisfaction, punctuality and reliability and staff helpfulness. In the key category of overall customer satisfaction ScotRail scored 89%, three percentage points higher than last year and six points above the UK average.
Another highlight of the survey - published by independent watchdog Passenger Focus – was achieving 87% for punctuality and reliability - up six points year on year and six points higher than the UK figure.
ScotRail is also making steady progress in tackling issues identified in previous surveys:
Room for passengers to sit or stand rose by eight points to 77% - despite passenger numbers rising to a record 81.1million. This jump – eight points higher than the UK average - reflects the fact that there are more trains and extra seats across the ScotRail network.
Train toilets saw an 11 point hike in ratings to 52% - 15 points above the UK figure, following a concerted effort to improve facilities.
Availability of staff on train and provision of information during journeys scored higher (72% and 80% respectively), following a £2m spend by ScotRail on new equipment and initiatives to improve the flow of ‘live’ travel information and keep more trains running during severe weather.
Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, welcomed the stronger ratings for keeping customers informed during their journeys.
He said: “This endorses our relentless focus on delivering improvements for passengers, which included the distribution of BlackBerry smartphones to on-train staff.
“Customers have rated us higher in 29 categories compared with last year. That speaks volumes in terms of staff efforts and the initiatives we have put in place in response to customer feedback.”
Following the autumn 2011 Survey, Mr Montgomery pledged that the company would improve how it communicates with customers when there is disruption. In this latest Survey how delays are dealt with has improved by four points, which puts ScotRail above the UK average. He said: “This is a move in the right direction but we remain committed to achieving higher scores in this important area.”
However, he expressed disappointment that value for money fell five points to 51%.
He said: “We understand the economic climate is squeezing everyone’s budgets so we will continue to encourage travel at less busy times of the day. Examples include our March off-peak deal and the forthcoming Stranraer discounts. As a result of these initiatives - coupled with our ongoing drive to improve operational performance and all aspects of the customer experience - we expect to see this score rise.
“We will continue to push for further improvements in all categories.”