Customer satisfaction levels hit 95 percent...

RAIL services to Wirral may be at a standstill, but it hasn't stopped Merseyrail emerging, once again, as the number one train service in Britain

Customers have given the thumbs up to the rail operator - awarding it the highest score, 95 per cent, in the National Rail Passenger Survey published today.

The accolade follows the publication of the Which?'s annual train survey last week, when Merseyrail came top for overall satisfaction.

It is the second time Merseyrail has been awarded the highest score in the NRPS poll, just one percentage point less than 96 per cent it secured in spring 2012.

Merseyrail scored 99 percent when passengers were asked how requests to station staff had been handled.

Merseyrail’s score is 13 percentage points above the regional average, two percentage points above the same period last year (autumn 2015) and five percentage points above the last survey (spring 2016).

Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, Merseyrail's managing director, said:  “We're aware that with significant engineering work on the Wirral line taking place for the first six months of the year, we've got to try even harder to ensure passengers can travel keep travelling with as little disruption as possible. We will continue to collaborate with partners, Merseytravel and Network Rail, to make this process as simple and hassle-free as it can be.”

Cllr Liam Robinson, chair of Merseytravel, said: “It's great to see that customer satisfaction levels for Merseyrail passengers are rated as the highest in the country.

“While we're really pleased by the results, we're not going to rest on our laurels. We'll continue to work together to provide high quality rail services that meet people’s needs which includes the £460 million investment project that will deliver a fleet of new, state of the art trains for our network.”

Rail unions have already warned that industrial action could take place over the proposed rail investment over the introduction of  driver-operated services on the Merseyrail network.

Earlier this month the transport union RMT threatened a dispute with Merseyrail over its plans for driver-operated doors on its new fleet of trains. Although the rail operator insists none of the permanent guards or guard managers will be forced to leave Merseyrail’s employment, there will be significant job losses.

Merseyrail said it was surprised and disappointed at RMT’s threatened dispute with the company.

More reading: 159 Merseyrail guards' jobs go as £460m fleet gets green light 

Larry Neild