Drop in ScotRail passenger satisfaction levels

Levels of passenger satisfaction with ScotRail dropped in autumn last year, according to a new survey.

The Transport Focus study found 85% of passengers were satisfied with their journey in autumn 2017, down from 90% in the spring survey.

However passenger satisfaction levels were above the UK average of 81%, and up from ScotRail's 83% rating in the autumn 2016 study.

The survey found satisfaction levels in autumn 2017 had dropped three points for both punctuality (to 82%) and ticket prices (to 59%) since spring last year.

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Satisfaction with the level of crowding fell eight points to 71% while there were also concerns over the reliability of internet connections on trains and toilet facilities and the availability of wifi at stations.

The National Rail Passenger Survey of more than 27,000 passengers
questioned 1419 ScotRail passengers between September and November 2017.

ScotRail Alliance managing director Alex Hynes said: "This survey shows customer satisfaction has improved compared to this time last year, and is a clear sign of the progress ScotRail is making.

"Our people work hard to deliver the best possible service for our customers. The evidence of this was clearer than ever in recent weeks, as our people in ScotRail and Network Rail Scotland kept customers moving during the worst of the winter snow and ice.

"We aren't complacent, and we're working hard to build the best railway that Scotland has ever had. The investment we are making in new and refurbished trains will deliver faster journeys, more seats, and better services for our customers across Scotland."

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The highest ratings for overall satisfaction were achieved by Grand Central (96%), Hull Trains (95%) and Virgin Trains East Coast (92%).

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog, said: "For passengers, it's all about performance. It's essential that the ScotRail and Network Rail continue their focus on ensuring that most trains arrive on time, with few cancellations and with carriages of the right length."

"Transport Focus welcomes the independent review of train services that ScotRail announced earlier this month to further improve performance."

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf tweeted: "Still work to do but my thanks to railway staff for all their hard work."