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Railhub Archive
1999-01-06 ATO-001


Which? report on rail customer surveys

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Association of Train Operating Companies

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Which? report on rail customer surveys

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2013-01-08 all related releases


6 January 1999
source ATOC
type Press release

Commenting on the Which? Report on rail, ATOC Chairman Ivor Warburton said: "We welcome customer feedback about the improvement of services and agree with Which? on passengers'right to an efficient rail service - which billions in new investment is seeking to achieve. But we see this survey as flawed and far too narrow to draw meaningful conclusions."

"Just one of our 25 train companies has a sample size 6 times higher for its one region than the sample Which? chose for the entire nation. The Which? survey carries only half of train companies and it is far too narrow in geographical spread and in timing. Self-completion questionnaires must also be treated with caution."

"Existing surveys are not useless nor trivial but can be improved on. Some standardisation in survey questioning is to be welcomed in the light of experience, and ATOC is already working closely with CRUCC and OPRAF to look at improvements as part of the Government¹s 10-point action plan. OPRAF already has to agree all survey methodology."

"The benchmarks we are now measured against are based on what our customers have said are important, not on what either train companies or consumer groups think is important. Targets are customer driven and substantial investment is tailored to meeting them."

"Its a huge step forward that train companies today must measure and publish their performance every 6 months against the stated preferences of their own individual customers. The needs of customers vary across the country and according to the type of rail service - long distance, commuter or rural, for example."

"As for the 3 key priorities identified - punctuality, seat availability and frequency - train companies are working hard to deliver the 10-point action plan to improve punctuality. This includes recruiting 800 new drivers, delivering 500 rail vehicles (in a year) and through a national punctuality taskforce."

"The issues of frequency and seat availability are linked. Train operators are running 1,000 more trains a day than before privatisation - which provide extra seats and better levels of service. But we are achieving extraordinary levels of growth: more passengers than for nearly 40 years, 14 per cent more passenger journeys over 2 years and average rail fares falling in real terms. It takes time to bring in the new trains and to add capacity to cope with such a welcome surge in usage".

"In short, train operators recognise services are not perfect, and much still remains to be done, but we are coping the with the problems of success and are making genuine efforts to listen to and understand the needs of our customers."


For more information: David Campbell Bannerman, Communications Director 0171 904 3010 or pager (01523) 523 523 pager no. 849718

Railhub Archive ::: 1999-01-06 ATO-001


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