Passengers issue vote of confidence in First ScotRail
SATISFACTION among Scottish rail passengers has reached record levels, according to an extensive nationwide survey of rail customers.
Latest figures from the rail watchdog Passenger Focus reveal First ScotRail is one of the UK's top regional railways, with 88 per cent of passengers feeling satisfied.
However, the rising cost of tickets and the lack of car parking spaces at stations is a cause for concern which campaigners say will need to be addressed.
The National Passenger Survey, released today, questioned 25,000 rail customers across the UK. It reveals that First ScotRail, which runs 95 per cent of Scotland's rail services, has improved customer satisfaction by two per cent.
Punctuality and reliability are big success stories, with 88 per cent of passengers saying trains left and departed on time - an increase of 11 per cent on last year.
However, 35 per cent of people were dissatisfied with station facilities, while 34 per cent said finding adequate parking at stations was a problem.
And 46 per cent of those questioned said they did not consider the cost of travelling by train to be good value for money.
First ScotRail's performance compares favourably with the rest of the UK, where 81 per cent of passengers said the service was "good" and just 7 per cent rated it "poor".
James King, board director of Scotland for Passenger Focus said: "Overall there is no doubt people are satisfied with the services of First ScotRail, and it's good to note there has been an improvement.
"However, we are concerned about the increasing problems of parking at the station. It is also clear that passengers are increasingly unhappy about the price of tickets."
Robert Samson, a Passenger Focus manager, said the survey results were good news for the rail operator. "But it is vital that improvements must be maintained," he added.
The director of First ScotRail, Mary Dickson, said the company's ongoing 40 million investment programme would address customers' concerns about station facilities and parking.
"We will continue to invest in delivering a safer, more punctual and more reliable railway as part of our ethos to provide value-for-money services," she said.
"These results identify where we are making progress and where our customers would like to see further enhancements. It is my goal to see First ScotRail continue to improve on our accomplishments and I will continue to work to achieve this."
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