Tram passenger satisfaction across the UK has increased once again with the latest figures showing that there is an overall satisfaction of 92% on the UK’s tram networks (excluding London Tramlink). The latest findings have been released by Transport Focus following their annual survey which took place in autumn 2015. Although the picture is mainly positive with the majority of systems where passengers were questioned either improving or staying at the same level there has been a significant decrease on Midland Metro.
The overall passenger satisfaction levels for 2015 are:
Blackpool Tramway – 96% (2014 – 96%)
Edinburgh Trams – 97% (2014 – 97%)
Manchester Metrolink – 89% (2014 – 85%)
Midland Metro – 81% (2014 – 90%)
Nottingham Express Transit – 98% (2014 – 98%)
Stagecoach Supertram – 97% (2014 – 92%)
The survey was undertaken by Transport Focus between 17th September and 25th November 2015 (a slightly shorter timeframe than in 2014) with 5707 passengers responding either by paper or online. This was a bigger sample than in 2014 which can be partly explained by Blackpool Transport, Transport for Greater Manchester and Centro all contributing funding to the research so that their systems could have a larger sample of responses. Edinburgh Trams also contributed funding as without this Transport Focus would not have included this system due to it being outside of its statutory remit.
This was the third year of the Transport Focus survey and has proven to be the most successful in terms of satisfaction for passengers which can surely only be seen as a good thing. Of the 92% of people who said they were satisfied 57% were said to be very satisfied (up from 53%) whilst value for money is also seemingly on the rise with 69% happy with the value for money (61% in 2014).
Nottingham Express Transit once again leads the way in the passenger satisfaction ranks and considering that the survey was undertaken shortly after the Phase Two extensions opened (which brought the chance for added delays and thus you would probably have expected a decrease) this can almost be seen as an increase. Both Manchester Metrolink and Stagecoach Supertram will also be celebrating as they have seen significant increases with Metrolink rising from 85% to 89% (still a relatively low figure but the survey was answered during the 2CC works which has seen service disruption) and Supertram from 92% to 97%.
The only real disappointment in the figures is Midland Metro’s major decrease from 90% to 81%. As with Manchester Metrolink, Midland Metro has been going through a period of disruption with construction works ongoing but despite this the major decrease is disappointing. Hopefully when the 2016 survey takes place this autumn there will be an upturn in fortunes in the West Midlands.
As food for thought Transport Focus also conduct similar research of the national rail network and on the buses. In comparison with these results the trams come out well on top with the railway satisfaction level at 83% and the buses at 86%. But then I think we already knew that trams are best didn’t we!?
* The full Transport Focus results – which go into more depth than we have room for here – can be downloaded at http://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/8685/.