The independent National Passenger Survey results released once again show Virgin Trains outperforming other long-distance franchises, with an overall satisfaction score of 92%. But the figures also reveal how Euston station (managed and owned by Network Rail), in desperate need of an upgrade, is dragging down customer satisfaction. Following the dramatic upgrades to other London terminals, Virgin Trains is now pressing for action to improve Euston.
Virgin Trains, the West Coast operator, scores above the average for long-distance operators on every single factor relating to its train services. But it exceeds the average on only one factor relating to stations. With over 60% of its passengers using Euston the company now wants action to improve the experience of its customers passing through the station. It is in discussion with Network Rail, HS2 (which will also use the station in future) and the Department for Transport about making significant changes.
Commenting on the results Tony Collins, Virgin Trains Chief Executive Officer, said:
“Once again our customers have applauded the service we provide, and I thank them for that. We’re pleased to have the highest satisfaction rating of any long-distance franchise. But when I look closely at the figures I’m worried because customers’ experience of using our trains is not matched by their experience of using the stations we serve.
“We have made improvements at stations we operate, but a huge proportion of our customers use Euston, and it’s now time to improve the environment at the station. We’ve seen the dramatic effect on satisfaction scores that the upgrade at King’s Cross has had recently. We want some of that for our customers too – and they can’t wait till a new HS2 station is built.”