HC Deb 17 December 2001 vol 377 c18W
Mr. Don Foster

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what steps his Department has taken to improve the accountability of(a) customer views and (b) customer satisfaction on the railways; and if he will make a statement. [23195]

Mr. Jamieson

All train operating companies are required to carry out regular Customer Satisfaction Surveys to monitor passengers' perception of the quality of service they offer. If satisfaction falls below benchmarks (based on the results of surveys carried out at the time of franchising) the companies can be required to produce an action plan to remedy the problem. The Strategic Rail Authority have initiated a new National Passenger Survey (NPS) which asks passengers nationwide the same questions about service quality. This enables the Authority to compare companies against one another. As with the existing Customer Satisfaction Surveys, benchmarks for the NPS will be set in new franchise agreements.