The West Midlands is among the country’s best performing regions for rail services, according to new research.
The research, by the Campaign for Better Transport, places the West Midlands and the North West at second place in the country across three ‘benchmarking’ measures.
The two regions scored 50% across growth and and usage, service quality and customer satisfaction and accessibility, compared to first-placed London with 59%.
In terms of growth and usage, London was the highest at 73%, followed by the South East at 56% and the West Midlands at 51%. Factors analysed were trips per head, 10-year growth rate and rail mode share.
The research – Benchmarking Rail Services Across Great Britain – was carried out for The Campaign for Better Transport by consultants Credo.
The Department for Transport recommended industry and local government learn from the report. Peter Wilkinson, director of franchising for the Department, said:
“There are challenges for all regions in improving performance. The industry and local government must consider how we best work together to tackle the issues this report raises.”
However, on the service quality front, both London and the West Midlands were quite low with 36% and 41% respectively, compared to the highest scores in Scotland at 55%.
Accessibility scores remain high for London at 68%, followed by the West Midlands at 57%, despite having low value for money scores. The East of England emerged the lowest in this category at 17%.
Scottish rail services – which operate under a devolved management for the Scotrail franchise – showed high passenger satisfaction, while Welsh rail services had relatively low levels of usage, accessibility and satisfaction, including the second lowest level for accessibility at 22%.
The research recommends a focus on passenger satisfaction around key themes of station cleanliness, security, investments on fleet modernisation and locally identified fare subsidies.
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