95% of passengers give Grand Central the thumbs up!

Figures released today by Passenger Focus reveal that 95% of Grand Central passengers were satisfied, or very satisfied, with the company’s services.

The results are contained in the independent passenger watchdog’s Autumn 2009 National Passenger Survey, and rates Grand Central as the country’s second top performing rail company based on overall passenger satisfaction. They also a reveal a one percent improvement in passenger satisfaction since the last Passenger Focus survey in Spring 2009.

The Passenger Focus survey also shows how much passengers appreciate the design of Grand Central’s trains; with 94% giving a positive rating to the comfort of the seating area (up 2% on Spring 2009), and 95% satisfied with the amount of room provided for passengers (up 4% from Spring 2009).

Grand Central Managing Director, Tom Clift, welcomed the results:

“The fact that passengers consistently rate Open Access above Franchised operators should send a clear message that Open Access has an important role to play in rejuvenating and growing Britain’s railways! We are delighted by this vote of confidence from our customers and we would like to thank them for rating us so highly.  More importantly I am particularly proud of Grand Central’s on-board staff who received a satisfaction rating of 94% (a 2% improvement on Spring 2009) - showing how a small and highly dedicated team can deliver excellent customer service on the railway.”

“However, whilst delighted with the overall results we are not complacent and recognise that there is further work to do. Compared to the Spring survey our passengers marked us down on the way in which we handle delays and the information that we provide at stations. Clearly we need to look at this again and improve our performance.”

Grand Central is already working with industry partners and local authorities to help improve the standard of information provided to our passengers at those stations where it is currently inadequate. Grand Central also confirmed that it was looking to introduce Local Ambassadors at unmanned stations along its route to improve the quality of passenger information as well as introduce improved staff training on how to handle service disruption.

The key findings of the report are listed below:

  GC Autumn 2009 Long Distance Operator Average GC score versus Long Distance Operator Score
Overall satisfaction 95% 87% +8%
Train: Punctuality and Reliability 96% 87% +8%
Train: How well dealt with delays 67% 46% +21%
Train: Frequency of services 78% 82% -4%
Train: Value for money 77% 57% +20%
Train: Sufficient room for passengers to sit/stand 95% 71% +24%
Train: Helpfulness and attitude of staff 94% 77% +17%
Train: Availability of Staff 92% 64% +28%
Stations: Provision of information 74% 85% +9%
Stations: Overall Environment 52% 74% -22%

Notes to Editors

  • The top scoring train operating company in the Autumn 2009 National Passenger Survey was Open Access Operator WSMR which runs services between London and Wrexham. Grand Central, also an Open Access Operator, was the second highest scoring train company in the country. In total Passenger Focus surveyed the passengers of 23 Train Operating Companies.
  • Grand Central has the highest overall passenger satisfaction score on the East Coast Main Line at 95%. Former franchised operator National Express East Coast recorded an overall satisfaction score of 89%.
  • Grand Central runs high speed express trains between Sunderland, Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe, Northallerton, Thirsk, York and London.
  • From May 2010 Grand Central will introduce a new West Riding service providing three return services a day between Bradford Interchange, Halifax, Brighouse, Wakefield Kirkgate; Pontefract Monkhill, Doncaster and London King’s Cross.