Grand Central, based in Yorkshire, has been rated the rail passengers favourite operator in the National Rail Passenger Survey.
Since its launch 13 years ago with services between Sunderland and London King’s Cross, and later adding in Bradford services, York-based operator Grand Central has proved a success yet again as it tops the twice-yearly National Rail Passenger Survey.
The good news comes as Grand Central announces their return to operating trains in late July after a four-month hibernation due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Grand Central managing director Richard McClean said: “It’s been a memorable week for us, to say the least. These have been a tough few months so to have our passengers rate us best in Britain is a massive boost for morale amongst our team, many of whom remain on temporary furlough as we gradually return to service.
“We’ve always enjoyed a strong endorsement from our customers in the NRPS. To be rated best overall operator in the country again is validation of our customer care and the work of our team. It also shows that giving passengers a choice of operator drives up overall satisfaction and value for money.”
The survey, completed by watchdog Transport Focus, shows that Grand Central achieved an overall customer satisfaction of 95%.
The operator topped the Value for Money table too, with an overall rating of 74%.
Passengers also reported a 95% satisfaction rate with Grand Central’s punctuality.
Mr McClean added: “Operating under an Open Access business model means we rely on ticket sales and customer footfall like most airlines, hotels and retailers. The COVID-19 travel restrictions meant it simply wasn’t possible to viably run services, so we took the difficult but necessary decision to sit out the worst of the restrictions.
“Today’s results provide a great confidence boost and tell us we were getting the important things right for our customers. When we start running trains again on July 26th, we’re committed to getting those basics right. We want staff and customers to feel confident about their journey and we will offer great value tickets and a warm welcome as usual.
“We’ve listened to what our passengers said and we want their first journey back with us to be a memorable one.”
More information on Grand Central and its return to operations in July can be found here.
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