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.
Virgin Trains has introduced a number of Cheap Day Return tickets between Glasgow and Northern England for travel in mid-July. Return fares between Lancaster, Oxenholme, Penrith, Carlisle and Glasgow will be reduced by 25% during the nine consecutive days of engineering work between July 13 and 21 (inclusive) for passengers travelling back on the same day.
Virgin Trains has renewed its certification in the Recognised for Excellence (R4E) programme at the highest level of 5 stars, following a bi-annual assessment by the British Quality Foundation (BQF). The company, which originally achieved 5 star status in May 2011, improved its overall score by around 20 per cent, with higher ratings for all nine criteria.
Virgin Rail Group has issued a demand that millions of pounds of customer-focussed improvements be made by Network Rail to compensate customers for poor punctuality in recent months. VRG, the owning group of Virgin Trains, is also preparing enforcement action to bring punctuality improvements, following sustained poor performance by Network Rail, which VRG believes is a breach of contract and has deterred some customers from travelling and damaged its business.
An overhaul of Virgin Trains’ timetable this December will deliver an extra 3,300 seats per day between Scotland and Birmingham and offer fresh competition to airlines operating on the route.
Virgin Trains and the British Transport Police have joined forces to help a guide dog get accustomed to the railway environment.
The UK Public Accounts Committee has warned the disaster in awarding the InterCity West Coast franchise could cost taxpayers at least £50 million. On the basis of evidence from the department for transport the committee said a “complete lack of common sense” has precipitated the failed process.
Warrington Bank Quay station, managed by Virgin Trains, is to get a facelift in a project costing some £600,000. Virgin Trains will work with industry partner, Network Rail to deliver improved facilities for customers, as part of the National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP).
irgin Trains’ customers have given Virgin Trains its highest ever score in the most recent national survey of rail passenger satisfaction.
Virgin Trains’ customers have given a massive thumbs up to rail services between Liverpool and the capital. With a 96% satisfaction rating, Virgin Trains’ Liverpool services have been rated the second most popular in the country, nudged into second place only by the unique service operated on the Isle of Wight.
Ministers at the department of transport attempted to quell unrest among rail passengers earlier by offering a series of sops to commuters. Announcing Virgin Trains would run the West Coast Mainline for another 23 months, following the botched tender process, department officials confirmed the service would now feature 28,000 more seats a day.
Virgin Rail Group issued the statement below on 29 October 2012, following the Secretary of State for Transport’s update to the Commons on the West Coast Main Line and Franchising.