Success has continued for London Victoria’s pioneering ‘one team, one look’ initiative to provide better passenger service.
London Victoria – Britain’s second-busiest railway station with 85 million passengers a year – has enjoyed the biggest increase in passenger satisfaction of all Network Rail’s managed stations, according to the latest National Rail Passenger Survey.
The research by watchdog Transport Focus, which twice a year collects opinions of train services from a sample of passenger journeys, shows satisfaction levels at London Victoria rose by 6.4% to 78.3% in the year to the autumn.
The surge was greater than the 6.3% increase achieved in that period by Liverpool Lime Street, which ranked as the best Network Rail station for passenger satisfaction with 93.8%.
In October, Network Rail had completed a major £140m transformation of Liverpool Lime Street, which included almost 2,000m of new track and redesigned, lengthened and additional platforms for more capacity.
An industry first
The increase at London Victoria follows a new uniform approach to helping passengers at the station. In a first for Britain’s rail industry, Network Rail staff and employees at train operators Southeastern, Southern and Gatwick Express, ditched their individual company uniforms in favour of a new Team Victoria outfit, featuring the station’s iconic logo of Queen Victoria in silhouette.
It’s not just a cosmetic change – staff are now trained to assist every passenger regardless of the service they’re using. This means passengers no longer need to seek out – or be pointed towards – specific staff for help, leading to a better level of customer service.
Other improvements include new customer information pods on the concourse, extra customer information screens, improved public-address systems, clearer wayfinding and signage, more seats and improved mobility assistance for people who find getting around the station difficult.
Before the ‘one team, one look’ approach and other improvements, London Victoria had the lowest customer satisfaction scores of any major station in the country with only 67% of station users satisfied with the station and the customer service provided. In the spring, that score had jumped to 80%, meaning four out of five passengers were satisfied with their experience at the station.
The 13% increase in satisfaction at London Victoria was the biggest jump by any station which had not undergone a major redevelopment or upgrade.
Last month, members of the rail industry came to London Victoria to learn more about the initiative. On 7 January, Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) representatives joined staff from Transport for West Midlands, West Midlands Rail Executive and West Midlands Trains for a visit to London Victoria hosted by Transport Focus.
Transport Focus said Network Rail and GTR gave a presentation about some of the successes and challenges involved with implementing a one team approach.
Station staff explained how passenger feedback had led to targeted improvements including changes to the concourse and more seating.
Transport Focus said the visit came amid a significant redevelopment of West Midlands Trains’ Wolverhampton railway station.
Andrew Leo, rail experience manager at trade body West Midlands Rail Executive, said on the Transport Focus website: “It was great to hear about the experience at Victoria Station in building one team for the benefit of passengers. We look forward to using the benefit of their experience to deliver a collaborative and integrated approach to the management of the new interchange at Wolverhampton.”