Sunderland to London rail service gets good marks from passengers

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BOSSES at train operator Grand Central have welcomed the results of the latest passenger satisfaction survey.

However, they have promised to do more to continue improving its service .

A study by the National Passenger Survey (NPS) found that 96 per cent of the 946 Grand Central customers questioned said the rail company offered a good service.

In addition, 94 per cent said they believed their trains were punctual.

There was room for improvement however, with one in five saying there was not enough room for luggage on the trains.

Additionally, 35 per cent were not happy with the state of the toilet facilities.

The positive figures will serve as a boost for the company, which is still in negotiations with Network Rail over extending its fifth daily return service to London all the way through to Sunderland.

Launched in December last year, it only runs as far as Hartlepool because of timetable issues.

However, Grand Central bosses are hopeful that the situation will be resolved later this year, and they maintain that Sunderland is a key part of their business strategy.

On the passenger survey, general manager Sean English said: “We are delighted to get 96 per cent.

“But it’s all about continued improvement, and we can’t get complacent.

“We need to keep trying to get better and improve those areas we need to look at.

“Some areas, like toilet facilities, we can address. They really need working on. It’s the upkeep of them throughout the journey, but we do have travelling cleaners on board.

“We could make more room for luggage, but then you compromise on seating space and that’s not what we want to do.

“We’re caught between a rock and a hard place with that.

“It’s good for us to focus on, and it’s why we are happy to be involved in NPS.

“It covers overall stats, right through to station facilities and value for money. It’s quite extensive.”

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