First Great Western promises to improve ‘poor performance’

Just words right now, but let’s hope; from the Guardian:

Long-suffering passengers using First Great Western rail services were offered some hope today as the company running the franchise pledged to…invest an extra £29m on improved customer service and increased capacity.

First Great Western will now offer more than 500,000 cheaper tickets to more popular destinations on FGW routes, and double its compensation rates to passengers this year.

First Great Western rail passengers are the least satisfied in the country

First Great Western, the train company I use to commute to work, has come last among UK train companies for passenger satisfaction. While most of the time it’s fine for me, I suspect that the fact that I travel against the main commuting tide (into the city each morning, out each evening) helps. When we pass trains going the other way they do look a lot more crowded. I think it also helps that I can check the London travel news each morning before I leave for work; if there are severe delays reported on FGW I can often choose to work from home that day.

It is true that while ticket prices have increased without fail each year, the only signs of infrastructure or service improvement I’ve ever seen are new ticket machines at Ealing Broadway. Not that they’ve always been a big step forward, either.