Major changes and upheaval but ScotRail still ticks all the right boxes

Customer satisfaction survey brings home above average results 

ScotRail’s overall customer satisfaction has remained above the national average, despite Scotland’s railway undergoing an unprecedented period of change.
The latest figures from the independent National Rail Passenger Satisfaction (NRPS) survey showed that 83% of those surveyed stated that they were satisfied with their journey with ScotRail. The equivalent figure for the UK as a whole was 81%.
ScotRail Alliance managing director Phil Verster said: “Everyone who works on Scotland’s railway will be disappointed by these results –we always want our customer satisfaction to be going up. However, they come on the back of a difficult year for our customers. Operating a busy and complicated network is challenging at the best of times – and we are doing so during one of the largest investments in modernisation since Scotland’s railway was built in Victorian times.
“There is no alternative, though, to doing the work.
“The decision to invest in the railway’s future has been put off too many times and it is in the best long term interests of passengers that we get on and do it. It is then our job to do whatever we can to keep people moving during this work and to better communicate when things go wrong and explain why they go wrong.
“When we brought in our Performance Improvement Plan we said that we wanted to make sure that we were doing everything we could to transform the railway for tomorrow, while bringing about better performance today. I believe that we are making good progress, but there is much to do.
“The latest round of statistics has shown that our punctuality and reliability is improving and bucking the national trend. That this has happened while we are still carrying out all of the work to deliver a new, more modern railway is down to the hard work, every day, of the 7,500 people who work for the ScotRail Alliance.
“This year, all of that improvement work will start to deliver results. The new faster, longer, greener trains that will deliver more seats and shorter journeys are currently being tested in Scotland ahead of their introduction later this year. In the months that follow, we will see more new trains, more services and improvements at more of our stations. This is exactly what customers want and it is what we are all working hard to deliver.”
The fieldwork for the survey, carried out by Transport Focus, was conducted between September and November 2016. It is the first survey to be carried out following the 5 month closure of the upper platforms at Queen Street Station and last summer’s RMT dispute.
The work at Queen Street followed on from a similar project at Winchburgh Tunnel and is part of the multi-billion pound investment in Scotland’s railway that is currently underway. This includes the electrification of the line between Glasgow and Edinburgh, similar work on the Shotts line, electrification of the line between Stirling – Dunblane – Alloa and a major upgrade of the line between Aberdeen and Inverness.
There were also several large scale one off events during this survey period – most notably the major incident at Princes Street Gardens that caused widespread disruption.

 

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