New figures released this week show that Bristol Temple Meads is the overall most improved station in the UK, following a survey carried out by independent watchdog Transport Focus.
The survey, carried out each spring and autumn, asked around 30,000 passengers across the country for their views on the railway. Bristol Temple Meads achieved a passenger satisfaction score of 83%, up 12 percentage points from last year – the biggest improvement of any Network Rail managed station in the country.
Overall passenger satisfaction on Network Rail’s Western route has improved by seven percentage points since last year, making Western one of the top scoring routes in the UK with a passenger satisfaction score of 86%. Reading remains the top scoring station for passenger satisfaction on the route, with a score of 92% – seven points above the national average.
The managed stations across Network Rail’s Western route – London Paddington, Reading and Bristol Temple Meads, all provide free drinking water fountains for passengers, a scheme which was implemented in February last year and has saved over 100,000 plastic bottles from ending up as landfill at Bristol Temple Meads alone.
Increased seating provision and more information about the estimated arrival times of trains is now displayed on the screens at Reading, which has proved popular with passengers. At Bristol Temple Meads, passengers were also pleased with the provision of information about train times, a category which scored 90% and was one of the top performing categories for the station.
The results reflect the unprecedented investment on the route over the past five years, with services now running under electric power to Newbury and Chippenham, as well as between Cardiff and London Paddington – providing capital to capital travel under electric for the first time. The introduction of GWR’s new trains alongside infrastructure improvements such as signalling upgrades have improved the reliability and resilience of the railway, which is reflected in the survey results, showing high passenger satisfaction scores for punctuality and the frequency of trains on the route.
Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s route managing director for Western said: “These results have been achieved through lots of hard work and dedication. The increased scores mean that passengers are noticing improvements in train performance and travel experience as a result of the biggest upgrade on the Western route since the railway was built.
“Bristol Temple Meads achieving the most improved UK station is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the dedication of the station team. There are lots of improvements still to come at Temple Meads as we remain committed to putting passengers first and delivering the highest levels of service and satisfaction.
“Although these results are encouraging, we recognise that there is still a lot more that can be done to make the railway more reliable and better for everyone that uses this vital public service.”
GWR interim managing director Matthew Golton said: “I am delighted that the hard work, by GWR and our industry colleagues is paying off and this is now being recognised by the majority of our customers; many of whom are enjoying the benefit of new trains and much more reliable infrastructure.
“While the last few years has seen a real transformation to the Great Western network, the job is far from over. In December we launched our new timetable providing faster journey times; more seats and more frequent services, and we would like to keep building on that work.”