London Bridge and Victoria Station passengers happier after watchdog intervenes
28 January 2020
Investment in passenger facilities at London Bridge and Victoria stations seems to be paying dividends according to the latest National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS)* results published today.
The new toilets at Victoria and seating at both stations were a response by Network Rail to recommendations made by London TravelWatch during the regular meetings and station ‘walkabout’ sessions it has with the operator. The latest NRPS figures show that the percentage of journeys where the seating at London Bridge was described as good has climbed to 59% (from 36% in Autumn 2018) while the percentage of journeys where the new seating at Victoria were described as good rose to 40% (up from 23% in Autumn 2018). 79% described the new toilets as at Victoria as good (up from 68% in Autumn 2018) .
Previous comments from passengers using Victoria station included: ‘Ticket price [is] extremely expensive considering no seating available’ and ‘facilities and seating availability is poor at London Victoria.’ Comments from passengers using London Bridge included: ‘London Bridge station redesign is mostly excellent but it desperately needs much more seating in the big area with screens and on platforms’.
London TravelWatch Director Emma Gibson said: ‘We know that passengers value good quality seating and clean toilet facilities which are free to use so it is no particular surprise to us to see this reflected in the latest NRPS scores. We are pleased that Network Rail have listened to the suggestions we have made. Relatively small improvements can make a huge difference to passengers’ day to day journeys, particularly those who are less mobile or travelling with small children.’
Sue, one of the passengers enjoying the new seating at London Bridge commented: ‘When I saw the new seating I thought “wow!” they are pleasing to the eye and not cold to sit on like the freezing cold metal ones on the platform. I’m right next to the platform without having to be on it so I sit here before my train goes.’
Despite the investment in station facilities, London and the South East continues to lag behind the national figure when it comes to the proportion of journeys rated as satisfactory for value for money (44% vs 47%). We think more needs to be done to promote things like Gold Card discounts, the benefits of season tickets, better publicising of improvement works and the benefits to passengers.
- London TravelWatch is the official watchdog representing the interests of transport users in and around London, and independent of the transport operators and government. London TravelWatch is sponsored and funded by the London Assembly, part of the Greater London Authority.
- * London TravelWatch’s sister body, Transport Focus consults more than 50,000 passengers a year to produce the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) – a network-wide picture of passengers’ satisfaction with rail travel. Passenger opinions of train services are collected twice a year from a representative sample of journeys.
- Transport Focus also have a datahub on their website.
- Follow London TravelWatch on Twitter and YouTube. For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 020 3176 5941 or 07734 055494.