First ScotRail have scored excellent marks in an independent rail passenger survey released this week.
First ScotRail’s ratings in the respected survey, conducted by Passenger Focus, were higher than UK train operators in 36 out of 37 categories, ScotRail’s best ever results.
However, as was previously reported in the Herald and Times last October, FirstGroup have not been awarded the 10 year franchise to run ScotRail, with the contract going to Dutch firm Abellio.
First ScotRail were also named Rail Operator of the Year last year at the prsetigious National Transport Awards.
The company carried more than 87 million customers in 2013 / 14 the tenth consecutiveb annual rise in passenger numbers. Passenger numbers at Inverurie Station continue to riie year on year, increasing by a massive 254 per cent since 2004 / 05. Work is due to start on a new station on the Aberdeen-Inverness line at Kintore later this year.
ScotRail also scored higher than other operators for availability of staff, 28 points above the national average, attitude and helpfulness of staff (+21) and train toilets (+17).
The train operator’s year-on year-scores improved in 26 areas including the headline category of overall satisfaction, up one point to 88 per cent. And its ratings in two categories that have proved challenging in the past, how delays are dealt with and value for money, each rose sharply, by seven points, to 49 per cent and 59 per cent respectively.
Other year-on-year improvements for First ScotRail included car parking facilities (+10), public transport connections (+8), availability of staff on train (+6) and space for luggage (+3).
The results have been welcomed by Steve Montgomery, managing director of First ScotRail. He said, “I am immensely proud of our staff following a tremendous year of customer service improvements, rounded off by their efforts during the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup.”
He added, “There is no doubt that, come April, we will be handing over a strong-performing and customer-focussed railway to the new franchisee.”