Trains on track for service

News story
News story

MOST of Wigan’s suburban rail passengers are pleased with their train services.

More than 80 per cent of the 1,500 travellers - many of them commuters - who responded to the latest National Rail Passenger Survey remain satisfied overall with their last journey from Wallgate or North Western Station.

And this rose a further nine per cent for travellers undertaking leisure journeys on its trains.

Passengers were most critical of the choice of eating/drinking on Wigan’s two stations, with just 40 percent indicating approval.

Approaching 80 per cent were satisfied with the punctuality of Wigan’s Northern Train services and the ease of being able to get on and off.

Although this plunged to 42 per cent when passengers were asked about on-board toilet facilities.

More than 54 per cent were satisfied that Northern Trains tickets offered value for money, while 64 per cent were content with the level of cleanliness on the trains linking the town with Manchester, Liverpool, Southport, St Helens, Preston or Blackpool.

More than 90 per cent of those Wiganers boarding Northern Trains used them for business commuting.

Two biggest improvements were with value for money of the price of the ticket and cleanliness of the outside of the train – both up three per cent on spring 2013, however, satisfaction with sufficient room to stand varies widely by route between 52 and 93 per cent

For long distance passengers on Virgin Trains, the biggest improvement in satisfaction were with train toilet facilities, and the choice of shops, eating and drinking facilities available (four per cent increases)

For regional passengers, the biggest improvement was with train toilet facilities. Across all train companies including Northern which serves Wigan, the national figure for those reckoning their ticket offered value for money was 45 per cent, which was an improvement on the 42 per cent. Satisfaction with punctuality and reliability remained similar to 2013 at 77 per cent.

Passenger Focus’s chief executive Anthony Smith said: “It is good news that overall satisfaction with the railways remains steady.

“Getting trains on time is the key factor underpinning passenger satisfaction while how delays are dealt with is the key factor behind scores for passengers’ dissatisfaction.

“Better communications during weather-related disruptions may have ensured passengers’ satisfaction in dealing with delays has held up with some train companies.”

Satisfaction with value for money varies even more widely among operators but, while still low, has increased slightly from 42 to 45 per cent.

Mr Smith said this is likely to reflect the Government’s decision to bear down on fare rises last year.