The Spring 2006 National Passenger Survey by Passenger Focus, the independent national rail consumer watchdog, has revealed that many more passengers have become satisfied with Virgin Trains West Coast and CrossCountry services during the past year.
With punctuality up by around 18 percent year-on-year, overall satisfaction with the West Coast journey experience rose to 90 percent, up ten points from Spring 2005, and to 84 percent with Virgin CrossCountry, up one point.
Customer satisfaction with cleanliness of trains rated particularly highly at 90 percent plus on both franchises and 89 and 82 percent of West Coast and CrossCountry customers respectively were satisfied with punctuality and reliability which regularly exceeds 90 percent on a daily basis.
Improved journey times (speeds) were reflected in satisfaction scores of 88 percent on West Coast and 86 percent on CrossCountry, up eight and four points respectively.
On board trains, more customers were satisfied with helpfulness of staff and information given, and satisfaction with information provided at stations also recorded significantly increased levels.
Customers also said they were more satisfied with the value for money of the price of their ticket, up ten points on West Coast and five points on CrossCountry compared with a year ago. This reflects sales of the bargain Virgin Value tickets, particularly since these were made available for sale up to 18:00 on the day before travel in a simplification of the booking system from last September.
This has driven down the average price paid for a Virgin West Coast ticket by 6.5 percent year-on-year between March 2005 and February 2006.
Virgin Trains Chief Executive Tony Collins said: “We have worked hard in all areas to improve quality of service for our customers and these results show our efforts are achieving measurable success.
“We, however, shall not be satisfied until our customers tell us they are 100 percent satisfied with all aspects of the service they receive.”
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