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Survey rates Great Western Rail second worst in country for delays

GWR rebranded from First Great Western in the autumn of 2015. Credit: ITV News

Great Western Railway has been rated second worst in the country for delays, according to a passenger survey.

of travellers reported late services from the company

In a list compiled by the consumer association Which?, Great Western Rail also placed 17th out of 22 railway companies for customer satisfaction.

The company did well in some survey areas:

ratings for reliability

But rated 3* average for seating availability, punctuality and overall condition of the train.

There were also some areas where customers had only left a 2* rating:

ratings for availability and cleanliness of the toilets
ratings for value for money

Great Western Railway say their keen to gain a better understanding of the findings from Which? and say other reports have rated them higher.

Our recent National Rail Passenger Survey report produced by independent rail watchdog Transport Focus, scores us at 84% and a statistically significant +3 rise on the last wave.

This score, the highest GWR has achieved in ten years of operating the Great Western, clearly shows our commitment to Building a Greater West and delivering the improvements we know our customers want to see.

We welcome the impact made by the conversion of some first class carriages, providing vital extra capacity, and Network Rail’s work in the last six months to drive down infrastructure related delays.

We are only too aware of how important it is to maintain good punctuality and we are doing everything we can to help NR continue this good work.

We are keen to work with Which? to gain a better understanding of their methodology, and it is good to see that in their own survey we have seen a 5% improvement in overall score in the last two years.

– Spokesperson, Great Western Railway


Trains cancelled or rerouted due to flooding at Dawlish

A number of trains were cancelled, or had routes and timetables altered, this morning because of flooding on the line at Dawlish.

CrossCountry trains, who were the only provider effected, say it is down to the type of train they use, which can experience technical issues if hit by waves.

The Voyager engine is not used by Great Western Railway.


Do you recognise these cuddly toys?

Do you recognise this teddy bear? Credit: First Great Western

Teddies lost on First Great Western trains across the West Country need your help.

Cuddly toys have broken out of the lost property vaults at Bristol Temple Meads train station in a bid to be recognised by their owners.

Should you believe one of the soft toys is yours then email teddyrescue@firstgroup.comdescribing the lost bear, highlighting any distinctive features, the direction of escape (where they were lost); their name, your name, full address and contact details.

Do you recognise this teddy bear? Credit: First Great Western

First Great Western launched Teddy Rescue in November 2014 as a way of reuniting lost toys with their owners but the train company have been unable to reunite a single bear or cuddly toy with their original family.

Lost bears and other cuddly toys not reunited with their real owner within three months will embark on other adventures with a Children’s charity.

Do you recognise this teddy bear? Credit: First Great Western

First Great Western workers strike

First Great Western workers strike over a row about the dismissal of a colleague Credit: PA

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at First Great Western began a 24 hours strike at 4am today (Friday March 27th) over a row about the dismissal of a colleague.

The dispute include guards, train drivers and managers in Penzance.

The announcement comes in the same week the rail company was awarded a 42-month extension on its franchise by the Government.

It is clear from the two disputes we are engaged in that there is a culture of bullying and intimidation of staff rife within the money-spinning racket which is the First Great Western operation.

RMT will not allow this culture to go unchallenged and the union will defend both our individual members and the principle of workplace justice. The union remains available for talks in both disputes.

– Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary

First Great Western is reassuring passengers strike action will not impact its services.

We can confirm that a member of staff was recently dismissed for allowing the doors of a train to remain open while in passenger service, and failing to report the incident to anyone for over a month.

The member of staff was not an RMT member at the time of the incident, and we are surprised that they have decided to support these actions, which put his safety, and the safety of his colleagues and our passengers at risk.

The RMT has a track record of taking a strong stance on the safety of its members and passengers, and today's action seems inconsistent with those messages. We do not expect this action to impact services for customers, and continue to talk to the RMT about this issue.

– First Great Western

New deal for rail passengers in the south west

The Department of Transport has announced plans to improve rail services into and out of the south west. It's also announced an extension of the rail franchise for First Great Western until April 2019.

First Great Western will retain their franchise until April 2019 Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Government says it'll mean more trains into Devon and Cornwall, faster journeys between Penzance and Paddington and the introduction of 369 new carriages through the roll-out of new hi-tech Intercity Express Programme trains built by Hitachi.

“I am determined that passengers in the West, Thames Valley and South Wales get a railway that is fit for the 21st century. This is a fantastic deal which will give them more seats, more services and brand new fleets of modern trains.

“This government knows the importance of our railways. That is why they are a vital part of our long term economic plan, with over £38 billion being spent on the network between 2014 and 2019."

– Patrick McLoughlin MP
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