LONDON, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Virgin Trains has once again been given top marks by its customers, with the highest satisfaction ratings ever achieved in the National Passenger Survey by a long-distance rail franchise operator.
The rail watchdog Passenger Focus carries out large-scale independent research across the industry twice a year. Virgin Trains has earned the highest overall satisfaction rating ever achieved by a long-distance franchise since the Survey began in 1999, with 91% of passengers 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied' with the service they received. This is the sixth successive survey in which Virgin Trains has been ranked top of long-distance franchised operators.
Virgin Trains' Chief Executive Officer, Tony Collins said: "These results are a gold medal for Virgin Trains' staff. We recently carried record numbers of customers, with more than 30million people travelling with us last year, double the number of six years ago. More and more people are choosing to travel with us because of our fast and frequent trains and the excellent customer service provided by our staff. We now need to put our best foot forward for the Olympics and these results show we are up for the challenge.'
Virgin Trains also achieved the highest ratings ever achieved by long-distance rail franchise operators on the following individual aspects of service: speed of journey, connections with other train services, room for passengers, ease of getting on and off our trains, and personal security while on board.
Notes to Editors
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Virgin Trains is the brand name of Virgin Rail Group (VRG), which is owned 51 percent by Virgin Group and 49 percent by Stagecoach. We have operated the West Coast passenger train franchise since 1997.
The current franchise was due to run until 31 March 2012, but the Department for Transport announced on 27 October 2011 that it would be extended until 8 December 2012. We have been short-listed for the new franchise that will start on 9 December 2012 and run until 31 March 2026, with an option to be extended by up to 20 months.
Virgin Trains has been recognised in numerous industry awards. In 2011 the company was named Best Rail Operator in the Group Leisure Awards (which we also won in 2009 and 2010). In 2011 Virgin Trains won the British Quality Foundation's Achievement Award for Customer Satisfaction. In 2010 we were named Best Rail Operator of the Year at the Travel Globe Awards (voted for by readers of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard. In 2009 we were voted Best UK Domestic Train Service by Business Traveller magazine for the second year running.
Virgin Trains first achieved Investors In People accreditation in 2007 and this was renewed in 2010; the IIP Gold award was achieved in 2011. In May 2011 Virgin Trains was awarded accreditation against the criteria of the European Foundation for Quality Management's (EFQM) Excellence Model. The company's Learning and Development team won a National Training Awards 2011 West Midlands award for its Coaching Culture programme.
SOURCE Virgin Trains