Earlier this week, Nus Ghani and other MPs from the South East attended a rail summit with Claire Perry MP, Minister for Rail, at Network Rail’s London Bridge headquarters.
Senior managers of the train operator Southern were present, and were asked to clarify their plans to improve services and customer communication. Following the summit, Nus said: “we heard a lot of positive things, which I hope will give heart to passengers who are rightly frustrated by the poor quality of train services they have been experiencing.
“In particular, having highlighted my concerns a number of times over a long period, I am pleased by Southern’s recognition that it needs to improve its communication with passengers. It has now been decided, for example, that Southern’s social media team will be based in the control room, so that the information given to passengers will be both more timely and more accurate, and that staff on train platforms will be given tablets so that they can be better connected to the control room too.
“I am satisfied that the much-needed cultural shift to put greater focus on passengers is happening, and that Southern recognises that its performance must get better. I will be monitoring the situation carefully to make sure this happens, and will continue to push them on compensation claims, short form trains, hiring more drivers and unprecedented delays.”
The Southern representatives agreed with the assembled MPs that much more could and would be done to improve its performance, particularly given the very disappointing performance statistics revealed by Transport Focus, the independent watchdog representing the interests of rail passengers. The most recent statistics, which are attached below, show that only 56% of Southern’s passengers are satisfied with reliability and punctuality, and only 27% are satisfied with the way in which Southern deals with delays.
“It is crucial that passengers express their frustration with the standard of service they receive, for it is customer feedback which drives improvements”, Nus said. “I wholeheartedly urge people to contact the watchdog, Transport Focus, with their stories and complaints, or tweet them @TransportFocus so that unacceptable experiences do not slip under the radar without receiving the attention and response they deserve.”
|Transport Focus Satisfaction Statistics 200715||577.81 KB|