Record high for passenger satisfaction as Tory rail policy hits the buffers

Theresa Villiers and George Osborne sent out mixed messages over the Conservative party's transport policies this week, over Crossrail and high speed rail.

Theresa Villiers and George Osborne sent out mixed messages over the Conservative party’s transport policies this week, Ms Villiers warning she could offer “no guarantees” over major rail projects the day after the Shadow Chancellor committed the Tories to both Crossrail and High Speed 2.

In an interview with Rail News, Ms Villiers, the Shadow Transport Secretary, refused to guarantee electrification of the Great Western Main Line and the rolling out of new Thameslink stock and the Intercity Express programme – in spite of saying she supports electrification “in principle” and “understood” the benefits new trains would bring.

Her remarks were in sharp contrast to those of Mr Osborne 24 hours previously when unveiling the Tories’ “New Economic Model”, in which he pledged funding for Crossrail and the new north-south high speed line to Scotland. The Association for Consultancy and Engineering, however, asked for “further details about how this ambitious programme would be financed”.

Ms Villiers’s comments also appear to contradict the Shadow Business Secretary Ken Clarke, who this week said that the Tories “will seek to ensure we don’t jeopardise key infrastructure projects”, telling the South Devon Herald Express:

“Historically, the easiest thing to cut has always been capital programmes. People get less annoyed if you cancel the future than if you cancel the past.

“But we are all too well aware it is dangerous to cancel real investment, including investment in infrastructure, at times like this.

“Having the proper infrastructure is going be essential to the South West taking part in the recovery.”

The latest passenger satisfaction figures, meanwhile, have revealed a record 83 per cent are satisfied with the overall service they receive, with the proportion satisfied with punctuality and reliability up two points to 83 per cent.

Less than half of those surveyed, however, believed they received value for money – only 45 per cent.

The operators with the highest satisfaction ratings were Wrexham & Shropshire (98%), Grand Central (95%) and Heathrow Express (93%); those with the lowest ratings were First Capital Connect (75%), National Express East Anglia (79%) and Southeastern (80%).

10 Responses to “Record high for passenger satisfaction as Tory rail policy hits the buffers”

  1. Shamik Das

    Mixed messages from Tories: RT @leftfootfwd: Record high for passenger satisfaction as Tory rail policy hits the buffers: //is.gd/7GLas

  2. Elrik Merlin

    Mixed messages from Tories on rail policy //is.gd/7GLas (via @leftfootfwd)

  3. Max Brockbank

    RT @leftfootfwd: Record high for passenger satisfaction … //is.gd/7GLas // Obviously they didn't ask "customers" of SE Trains

  4. Claire Spencer

    How long will the rest of the Tories tolerate the insularity of Cameron & Osborne? More gold from @leftfootfwd: //bit.ly/cOphi1

  5. Mr. Sensible

    Well well.
    This is the same Ms Villiers who suggested that she was committed to HS2.

    Now all we’ve got to do is undo Tory privatization and its shambolic results, which the government has at least partly done with both Network Rail and East Coast.

    FCC came out nearly bottom (surprise surprise).

  6. Mr. Sensible

    It is since Network Rail came in that our infrastructure has got both safer and allowed our trains to run better and more effectively.

    Look what happened before 2001; Paddington, Potters Bar ETC.

    Since 2001 I think there’s only been 2 incidents, one of which was caused by a motorist who decided to park on the line.

  7. Andrew Regan

    @shamikdas "Record high for passenger sati…": Theresa Villiers and George Osborne sent out mixed messages … //bit.ly/9dpM5C #labour

  8. solarpython

    Ms Villiers “no guarantees” after the Shadow Chancellor committed the Tories to both Crossrail and High Speed 2. //bit.ly/bvSAD3

  9. Jon Cambell

    Ms Villiers “no guarantees” after the Shadow Chancellor committed the Tories to both Crossrail and High Speed 2. //bit.ly/bvSAD3

  10. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by leftfootfwd: Record high for passenger satisfaction as Tory rail policy hits the buffers: //is.gd/7GLas

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