Rail users delighted by improved service

David Horne'East Midlands Trains managing director
David Horne'East Midlands Trains managing director
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TRAIN passengers have hailed long-distance train services from Sheffield.

However, satisfaction with local services has dropped in the latest National Passenger Survey.

East Midlands Trains, which operates services between Sheffield and London, Manchester and Nottingham, saw 87 per cent of passengers quizzed rate it as satisfactory or good, up one percentage point from a year ago, with train comfort satisfaction rising four points to 82 per cent in the same period.

David Horne, EMT managing director, said: “Our £30 million fleet investment programme is now drawing to a close and this has delivered improvements to every train we operate and is clearly having a huge impact on our passengers.”

However, Northern Rail, which operates local services across South Yorkshire, saw the percentage of satisfied passengers drop three points to 80 per cent - against a national regional services average of 86 per cent.

The number of passengers saying fares offered good value for money dropped seven points from a year ago to just 50 per cent..

Ian Bevan, Northern Rail managing director, said: “We are disappointed the number of passengers satisfied with our service has reduced.

“We are encouraged to see a number of scores improving, including information provision, but know we can do more to meet our passengers’ expectations.

“With an average fare on our network of £2.60, it’s disappointing to see a decrease in passengers satisfied with value for money.

“We recognise this isn’t just about the cost of tickets and are working to address it.”

First TransPennine Express, which runs trains between Sheffield and Manchester and Cleethorpes, saw overall satisfaction rise four percentage points to 88 per cent - the national average for long-distance services.

Nick Donovan, TransPennine Express managing director, said: “We are delighted. Our teams have worked hard to raise the standard of service customers receive.”

CrossCountry Trains, which runs services linking Sheffield with the south-west and north-east, saw 84 per cent of passengers satisfied, up two points from the last survey in autumn 2011.

Richard Gibson, for the firm, said: “The improvements since the last survey in satisfaction for punctuality are pleasing. However, we are not complacent and know we can do more.”