North Wales train stations are the worst in UK says latest rail passenger survey.
The latest National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) published yesterday shows customers using the north Wales and borders line are the UK’s most dissatisfied when it comes to the stations* which include Shotton, Hawarden Bridge and Hawarden.
NRPS provides a network-wide picture of customers’ satisfaction with rail travel, passenger opinions of train services are collected twice a year from a sample of passenger journeys.
Passengers’ overall satisfaction, overall satisfaction with the station and train, and satisfaction with 33 specific aspects of service are measured within the survey.
As an operating company Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) scored 83% in terms of passenger satisfaction, dropping 3% overall between autumn 2013 and autumn 2014, the national average for a regional rail company is 84% .
In our neck of the woods, of those passengers using ATW’s north Wales and Borders routes, which includes Wrexham Central – Bidston, Llandudno – Manchester Piccadilly and Holyhead-Crewe/Shrewsbury, Blaenau Ffestiniog stations – 93% said they were satisfied – significantly higher than ATW’s average and the national average however, the number of rail users surveyed was only 58 oddly, the lowest on any route in the UK.
Digging in a little deeper, the data shows customer satisfaction with punctuality on ATW services, trains arriving and leaving on time, has dipped by 9% to 78% over the period measured, the greatest decline of any regional operator in the UK, 81% being the national average.
Another huge downward shift in terms of customer satisfaction and one knock on effect of poor punctuality and reliability is how well ATW dealt with delays, again the company saw the greatest UK wide decline dropping 19% however putting that into some sort of context, 37% of ATW rail users were happy or satisfied with how well delays are dealt with which is 2% short of the national average.
On a whole ATW customer satisfaction levels with stations across all their routes improved over the year by 1% yet still 6% lower than the national average.
Drilling down to ATW’s specific routes, the survey shows north Wales and Borders train stations are deemed to be the worst in the UK they include Deeside’s three stations on the Wrexham to Bidston line, and Shotton lower level station, only 63% of commuters using these stations on the north Wales and Borders line are satisfied with the facilities – a massive 19% lower than the UK average.
We asked assembly member Wales Mark Isherwood for his view on the latest rail user survey, he said:
“I am a regular passenger with Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) and this makes worrying reading. In my experience the staff are friendly and helpful, despite the limitations in some of the stations.
“The Welsh Government is responsible for the performance management of passenger services covered by the Wales and Borders Rail Franchise in place with ATW, which details all aspects of what is expected from them in terms of running the service.
Both ATW and the Welsh Government therefore have some serious questions to answer.
With the Franchise running out in 2018, we must also ask whether the Transport Minister’s announcement that she intends to exclude private companies from bidding for the new franchise is affecting ATW’s approach.
“However, the Minister has suggested there may first need to be an extension to the current Arriva Trains Wales franchise and action by her is therefore required.”
Overall satisfaction with the station
Ticket buying facilities
The upkeep/repair of the station buildings/platforms
The facilities and services
Connections with other forms of public transport
The availability of staff
Availability of seating
The choice of shops/eating/drinking facilities available