Proof that UK don’t need to play catch up with Europe When It Comes To Rail

The latest Eurobarometer passenger satisfaction survey of those making middle or long distance rail trips shows the UK are happier with their journey than most of their European neighbours, particularly Germany, France and Italy.

On 17 out of the 19 aspects measured, the UK are above the EU average of 25 countries.

For more than half the aspects the UK was in the top third and for 6 of the 19 measures the UK was in the top 3.

The analysis shows on key criteria:

• On travelling speed (ie length of journey time) UK scored 2nd, with 92% satisfied (compared with the EU average of 78% satisfied). UK was 16% percentage points above Italy; 13 percentage points above France; 8 percentage above Germany.

• On reliability and punctuality UK came 6th, with 87% satisfied (compared with the EU average of 66% satisfied). UK was 35 percentage points above Germany; 32 percentage points above France; and 24 percentage points above Italy.

• On frequency of trains UK was 3rd, with 84% satisfied (compared with the EU average of 72% satisfied). UK was 11 percentage points above France and Italy; 10 percentage points above Germany.

• On connections with other rail services UK was top, with 71% satisfied (compared with the EU average of 59% satisfied). UK was 14 percentage points better than France; 8 percentage points better than Germany; and 1% point above Italy.

• But on sufficient capacity for passengers UK was 22nd, with 61% satisfied (compared with EU average of 67% satisfied). UK was 2 percentage points better than Germany; 7 percentage points worse than Italy;13 percentage points below France.

Overall UK passengers were more satisfied than German passengers on all 19 criteria. The UK also scored higher than France in 15 and above Italy in 14 of the criteria measured. These are countries that have majored on high speed rail.

Hilary Wharf, a spokesperson from HS2AA said:

“This survey just confirms what we have been saying all along about comparisons with Europe and particularly on the need for very high speed rail in the UK. Rail passengers don’t see it as a priority, because it isn’t one.

It’s actually a case of people’s perceptions matching the facts. We are a small and already well connected country to our capital. Our own study of the timetables showed the UK has quicker journey times between the capital and top five biggest cities than in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, despite their concentration on high speed rail.

Background

1. The Eurobarometer Survey (Flash EB No 326: Survey on Passengers’ Satisfaction with Rail Services) commissioned by the European Commission, measures the satisfaction of 9,000 passengers making middle or long distance rail trips from 25 EU countries across a range of 19 criteria. These criteria include service frequency, punctuality and reliability journey length, and ease of buying a ticket.

2. The survey can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/flash_arch_329_315_en.htm#326

3. ATOC comments on the report are in Rail at www.rail.co/2011/06/24/uk-rail-passengersmore-

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