A local train company has been rated highly in a recent survey.
First TransPennine Express (FTPE) scored 88 per cent overall satisfaction in the independent National Passenger Survey. The research which canvasses the opinions of around 30,000 passengers was conducted in Autumn 2012.
Results released today show that the train operator has improved in 19 of the 36 categories (since Autumn 2011) with customers particularly pleased with the provision of information and the punctuality and reliability of the service. The results also indicate that FTPE is either ahead of or comparable to other long distance operators in 26 or the 36 categories.
The twice yearly survey showed a 4 per cent improvement in overall satisfaction for FTPE from 84 per cent in Autumn 2011.
Overall satisfaction with stations was marked highly with 86 per cent of customers agreeing they were of a good standard. This was reflected in the scores relating to the upkeep and cleanliness of FTPE's 30 managed stations. Customers also agreed that they felt more secure than previously when using FTPE stations and recognised an improvement in connections on to other forms of public transport.
Customers commended the service they received when travelling on board, noting that trains were well maintained and clean and that staff were found to be helpful and informative. 81 per cent of customers were pleased with the frequency of services whilst 88 per cent were happy with the length of their journey.
Customers did recognise that the increase in numbers travelling affected their satisfaction with seating capacity and luggage space. FTPE is addressing this problem by investing £60m in 40 new carriages which will start to come into service from December this year. These new trains will provide a 30 per cent uplift in capacity and a 25 per cent increase in luggage space.
Nick Donovan, Managing Director, said,
"We are absolutely delighted with the response we have received from our customers.
"Our teams have worked extremely hard to raise the standard of service customers receive from us and I want to thank them for their commitment and helpfulness.
"Since 2004 our satisfaction rating has improved by 14 per cent which reflects our investment in station facilities, trains and staff development. Our trains are more reliable than ever before.
"The future is also bright with new longer trains and more customer capacity being delivered across our network from the end of 2013.
"We will continue to work to deliver a great service every day."
FTPE manages 30 stations across the north of England and operates nearly 300 services a day with a team of just over 1,000.
FTPE carries approximately 25 million passengers a year and is the current Rail Business of the Year.