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Railhub Archive
1999-02-17 ATO-001


Passenger complaints helping to build a better railway

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Association of Train Operating Companies
passenger complaints

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Passenger complaints helping to build a better railway

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17 February 1998
source ATOC
type Press release

Passenger complaints have a vital role to play in improving the operation of Britain's rail system, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) said today.

Commenting on the latest figures published by the Rail Regulator, which show a total of 540,000 passenger complaints in the period from April to October last year, ATOC welcomed the Regulator's acknowledgement that the train operating companies are contributing to the growth in complaints by providing more accessible telephone services and better recording systems.

"The increasingly customer focused train operators are very keen to have customers'comments about their services," said James Gordon, Director General of ATOC.

"That's why we make pre-printed comment forms available on trains and at stations - and these account for more than half of all the complaints received. It's why we advertise our telephone numbers and addresses on trains and stations too.

"It's also why we are exploring new ways of handling complaints. For example, Virgin spent £350,000 on a new computer system in September to process complaints more quickly; and First Great Western has been accepting complaints by e-mail since August.

"All the train operating companies are aware of the need to deal with complaints quickly and efficiently, and we hope the next set of statistics will show a continuing improvement in our speed of response.

"Mr Gordon said he was sure the availability of compensation was a major factor in the increase in complaints. But the average level of complaints - one for every 855 journeys - was still very low considering the 20 per cent growth in passenger journeys over the last three years.

He added: "The new railway is committed to providing the quality of service the public want, and monitoring passenger complaints provides us with the tool to achieve our objective."


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

Railhub Archive ::: 1999-02-17 ATO-001


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