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New trains and longer staffing hours announced as passenger satisfaction rises on Great Northern

Press Release   •   Jan 27, 2016 12:13 GMT

Great Northern has announced modern trains from the summer and longer station staffing hours as passenger satisfaction rises in an independent nationwide survey.

Class 377 Electrostars with air conditioning, automatic service announcements and the latest in accessibility features for disabled passengers (pictured right) will run on the Cambridge/King's Lynn and Peterborough services to and from King’s Cross.

They are being released from the Thameslink route which is getting brand new Class 700 trains and, by the end of the year, will have replaced all the older Class 317 and 321 trains. Meanwhile, the other trains are going through either heavy maintenance or overhauls to maintain and improve their reliability.

Station staffing hours will also be increased as Great Northern staffs its ticket gates for longer and introduces more gates at stations such as Alexandra Palace and Sandy. Ticket gates discourage fare dodging which in turn is known to discourage anti-social behaviour and increase security.

Customer information screens are being upgraded around the Bowes Park to Watton-at-Stone Hertford Loop and 22 Rail Neighbourhood Officers and 20 special constables introduced.

Great Northern’s Passenger Service Director Keith Jipps said:

“Today’s report by Transport Focus has shown that, once again, passenger satisfaction has risen on Great Northern, which is testament to the hard work our staff put in every day, keeping trains clean and helping customers at stations.

“We know we need to do more, in particular to improve punctuality, which is why we are working with Network Rail to improve track and signalling and recruiting many more train drivers. We’re also bringing in more reliable, modern trains this summer with air conditioning and projects to improve the experience at our stations.”


Editor’s notes

Results of the independent Transport Focus Autumn 2015 National Rail Passenger Satisfaction Survey can be viewed here.

  • Overall satisfaction with the journey on Great Northern rose, year on year, from 82% in autumn 2014 to 84% in autumn 2015 with only 6% dissatisfied.
  • Overall satisfaction with the train rose 6% to 78% with 10% dissatisfied.
  • Overall satisfaction with the station rose 3% to 82% with only 5% dissatisfied.