Passengers using Merseyrail are the most satisfied in the UK and also see the network as value for money, an independent survey has revealed. Tony McDonough reports
Merseyrail has the most satisfied passengers of any rail network in the UK, according to an independent survey.
Travel watchdog Transport Focus has spent the last 12 weeks asking rail passengers across the UK for their views on different operators. It found Merseyrail passengers had a 95% satisfaction rate, coming joint top with c2c which covers London to Essex.
Merseyrail also came top in satisfaction with punctuality and frequency, with a 95% satisfaction rate.And it took the top spot for satisfaction with frequency of trains – scoring 86% satisfaction.
The Liverpool city region rail operator, which is a 50/50 joint venture franchise between Serco and Abellio, also scored high in terms of value for money – coming third in the whole country.
It links Liverpool city centre with services to Southport, Hunts Cross, Kirkby, Ormskirk, Chester, Ellesmere Port, New Brighton and West Kirby. In the next few months it will start to see the rollout of a new £500m train fleet which has been acquired by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
As part of the testing of the trains some have been fitted with a batteries which will allow the network to be extended without the need for expensive electrification. And, in earlier December, it was announced work is set to start on the new £80m Headbolt Lane station at Kirkby which will be operational in 2023.
Andy Heath, managing director at Merseyrail, said: “Providing our customers with the best possible service is our absolute priority and at the heart of everything we do here at Merseyrail. To score so highly in a customer satisfaction survey is a real honour and a testament to the hard work of all of our staff particularly through these challenging times.
“Looking ahead to 2022 and the introduction of the new, state-of-the-art trains on our network, I have every faith that we will continue to top these surveys and run a high-quality rail service that our customers can be proud of in the city region.”
The Rail User Weekly Survey asks approximately 500 passengers in the UK about experiences of travelling by rail and how satisfied they were with their most recent journey (made in the last seven days).
The train operating company satisfaction rates are calculated by consolidating 12 weeks of these surveys to provide an overview of general quarterly satisfaction.