Look­ing back: what SWT achieved

Rail (UK) - - Network News -

Stagecoach ran the first pri­va­tised pas­sen­ger ser­vice of the modern era: the 0510 from Twick­en­ham on Sun­day Fe­bru­ary 4 1996.

An ag­gres­sive cost-cut­ting pro­gramme meant it was ini­tially known as the train com­pany that made so many driv­ers re­dun­dant it did not have enough left to op­er­ate all its ser­vices.

Since then it has more than dou­bled pas­sen­ger num­bers to 230 mil­lion a year. It re­placed slam-door trains with £1 bil­lion worth of new rolling stock. A fur­ther £210 mil­lion of new trains fol­low this year.

Of­fice of Rail and Road fig­ures show it is the only part of the na­tional network to make an out­right con­tri­bu­tion to the Trea­sury when all rail costs are in­cluded: 56p per pas­sen­ger jour­ney, or 2p per pas­sen­ger km.

SWT reg­u­larly achieves among the high­est lev­els of cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion of the Lon­don com­muter op­er­a­tors. In the lat­est Na­tional Rail Pas­sen­ger Sur­vey, 83% of trav­ellers were sat­is­fied over­all.

SWT also reg­u­larly wins awards for the most re­li­able rolling stock, both elec­tric and diesel. The lat­est fig­ures for Fe­bru­ary-March show ser­vice re­li­a­bil­ity of 99.4%.

How­ever, punc­tu­al­ity has de­clined over the past year. Cur­rently 86.6% of main line ser­vices ar­rive within five min­utes of the sched­uled time, slightly be­low the 89% re­quired un­der its pas­sen­ger char­ter.

A “Deep Al­liance” with Network Rail, dur­ing which a shared man­age­ment team op­er­ated both track and trains, was not seen as a suc­cess and fell apart in 2015 af­ter three years.

In a let­ter to staff, Stagecoach Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Martin Grif­fiths said: “This was a fran­chise that we wanted to re­tain. We have de­liv­ered real im­prove­ments for our cus­tomers and I would like to thank you for your sup­port and hard work in achiev­ing this.”

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