Information and tickets

Provision of travel information during the journey

We work to improve customer information at all stages of a customer journey, including planning and preparing for travel. This includes information on our trains, the different services available onboard and timetables which are available from our website.

All of our trains have clear signage throughout, giving information about the location and availability of onboard toilets and priority seating.
All of our trains operate with at least one member of customer experience staff onboard and customers are encouraged to approach them with any questions. 
Information regarding the next station will be announced onboard by our Train Managers or through automated announcements.
This is also displayed visually onboard and in stations.

In the case of delays the Train Manager will make regular announcements and update customers frequently. Information about incidents which cause significant disruption is available from our website.

Safety information can be found onboard on posters and announcements encourage customers to review this. 

How requests for information are handled at the station

All of our managed stations have clear signage throughout, giving information about the location of key facilities including toilets and exits. 
Each of our managed stations are equipped with audible announcement and information screens to keep customers updated on the latest information. 
Additionally, all of our stations are staffed from first to last train by our customer experience teams and customers are encouraged to approach them with any questions.

Help points are provided and customers can contact us via social media which is staffed 24/7 except over Christmas.

How information about train schedules, tariffs and platforms is provided

Our train timetables are available on our website or through our app which can be downloaded from your app store.  This also includes the ability to check the price for any train currently available for booking.

Information about train platforms can be found on our app in the ‘live trains’ section, on the National Rail website at www.nationalrail.co.uk and on customer information screens at stations.

Ticket buying facilities

Customers can buy tickets for travel in advance or on the day of travel using our app, by visiting the ‘Buy now’ section of our website, or by calling our contact centre on 0345 528 0253.

There are ticket selling facilities, be it a staffed booking office or ticket vending machine at each station at which we call. Details of these can be found on the station information pages of our website or National Rail website.

Availability of staff at the station for information provision and ticket sales

All of our managed stations are staffed from first to last train by our customer experience teams and customers are encouraged to approach them with any questions.

The hours of ticket office operation together with the staffing arrangements for all of the stations we call at can be found on the station information pages of our website or National Rail website.

How information to disabled people and persons with reduced mobility is provided

We have improved our website to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines AA standards and we will continue to improve our app. Information on accessibility, access conditions and availability of onboard facilities for disabled people, people with reduced mobility and older people, is available on request from all staffed stations at which we call, our Passenger Assist team on 08000 158 123 (or use our text phone 0800 0158 124) or through our dedicated webpage Accessibility hub | Passenger assist | Avanti West Coast

Punctuality of services and general principles to cope with disruption to services.

Delays

Overall average delay of services in % per category of services

Average lateness of trains arriving at destination is 7.7 minutes (early trains counted as 0 minutes late for this calculation)

% delay at departure

25.2% of booked trains departed origin >=1 minute late

% delay at arrival (of which):

63.3% of booked trains arrived at destination >=1 minute late

% delay of less than 60 minutes

61.8% of booked trains arrived at destination >=1 minute and <60 minutes late

% delay of 60-119 minutes

1.3% of booked trains arrived at destination >=60 minute and <120 minutes late

% delay of 120 minutes or more

0.2% of booked trains arrived at destination >=120 minutes late

% of missed connections with other train services

Unavailable

Disruptions

AWC have contingency plans for line blockage scenarios around key geographies. These are reviewed at each major timetable change (typically 6 monthly), with Network Rail and other principal operators on the route. These operational contingency plans are supported by customer contingency plans – our customer information and customer handling plans.

In addition to these we have service recovery principles as agreed with Network Rail on how we endeavour to return the network to normal operation in a timely manner in support of customer journeys.

For key events such as major sporting fixtures, discrete contingency plans are developed to help deliver the best possible experience for customers.

Cancellation of services

7% of booked trains were cancelled (each DfT Full cancellation counted as 1 cancellation, and each DfT Part cancellation counted as half a cancellation for this calculation).

Cleanliness of rolling stock and station facilities (air quality in carriages, hygiene of sanitary facilities, etc.)

Station Cleaning

Our stations are cleaned throughout the day to keep the accommodation clean and today at all times and to BICs Standards (British Institute of Cleaning Science). Our aim is to improve the station environment by delivering a service that continually enhances customer satisfaction.

We want our stations to be clean, tidy and in a good state of repair. To achieve this, we will be working closely with the Cleaning partner to provide:

Daily Routine Cleaning at Stations

  • Public and Staff Toilets
  • First Class Lounges and Waiting room
  • Car Parks

Other Services

  • Periodic Deep cleans
  • Window Cleaning
  • High Level cleaning
  • Landscaping and vegetation
  • Abandoned bike management
  • Blocked toilet first attendance

Onboard Cleaning

Internal cleaning of trains take place at every terminating station. As a minimum, litter is collected and removed from the train, tables sanitised, carriages vacuumed, toilets cleaned, mopped and consumables replenished. Enhanced cleaning is carried out where possible, and time permitting. We also provide at least 1 in-journey cleaner on 85% of our services for a duration of the journey. Onboard cleaners will collect litter, clean toilets, and carry out enhanced cleaning duties if time allows.

Biohazard cleaning takes place as and when required by an in-transit cleaner or at the terminating station.

Technical measurement for air quality (eg. level of CO2 in ppm)

All of our train vehicles are fully equipped with air conditioning on board that receive regular maintenance to keep them in good functional condition. We continue to develop our use of remote HVAC performance data to pro-actively resolve air conditioning issues before they become apparent in service. *Should one of our conditioning units fail our On Board Manager will do everything they can to move customers to an alternative coach where a unit is functioning correctly. We are also making minor modifications to aid keeping the HVAC system operational in service.

Availability of toilets

Our passenger service fleets started 2023/24* with 534 toilets (130 in First Class and 404 in Standard Class), of which 204 are accessible toilets.

We measure the availability of our toilets into service. Avanti provided 99.1% of toilets operational into service during 2023/24. To help us understand our toilet performance, we remotely monitor performance data to aid control decisions and use the feedback on toilets from our customer surveys.

*The number of trains & toilets decreased after the handback of 3 Class 221 Voyager units towards the end of 2023/24.

Customer satisfaction survey

Punctuality of trains

In the most recent Rail User Survey carried out by Transport Focus, for the period 19 January – 31 March 2024, 76% of Avanti West Coast passengers were satisfied with their journey overall, and 60% were satisfied with the punctuality/reliability of the journey. Looking at the Avanti West Coast Customer Satisfaction Survey, between April 2023 and March 2024 the average rating given for ‘the timeliness of your train’s departure and arrival’ was 8.0 out of 10.

Information to passengers in case of delays

Customers completing our Customer Satisfaction Survey rated ‘Onboard Information during a Delay’ at 6.6 out of 10 in Q3 which rose to 6.9 out of 10 in Q4 (January to March 2024).

Any services running over 10 minutes late should have a delay reason applied to give customer further information about the cause of the delay as well as updating in near real time the length of delay. This information is available through station information screens, onboard our refurbished trains with passenger information screens and through our App. Our onboard staff will also provide regular announcements to customers.

Accuracy and availability of information on train times/platforms

Customers completing our Customer Satisfaction Survey scored ‘Information about your Journey at the Station’ at 7.4 in Q3 and 7.7 in Q4.

Our mystery shopper programme, ‘Moments that Make A Difference’, found that

  • 99.2% of shoppers agreed that Avanti ticket office staff offered an appropriate and helpful response to their enquiry. (125 of 126 shoppers surveyed in Q4 (7 January – 31 March 2024)

Consistently good maintenance/excellent condition of trains

The ‘upkeep and repair of the train’ was rated 7.3 (Q3) and increased to 7.6 in (Q4) on our Customer Satisfaction survey. The ongoing refurbishment of our Pendolino fleet has had a positive impact on customer satisfaction with those customers on refurbished trains rating their satisfaction with Upkeep and Repair at 7.8 out of 10 in Q4.

High level of security on train/in station

Personal security during the journey is surveyed by Transport Focus on the Rail User Weekly Survey. From 19 January – 30 March 2024 Avanti West Coast customers gave a score of 81%. The question ‘how would you rate your personal security onboard the train’ is also measured in the Avanti Customer Satisfaction Survey and the Q4 score was 8.2 out of 10.

Cleanliness of inside of the train

Customers scored the ‘Cleanliness and Tidiness of the Carriage’ 7.6 in Q3 on our Customer Satisfaction Survey, which increased to 8.0 in Jan – Mar 2024.

  • Cleanliness and freshness of the Toilets is also rated on the Customer Satisfaction Survey, receiving a score of 6.9 in Q4.
  • Transport Focus’ Rail User Weekly data found that Avanti customers scored 75% for Cleanliness of the Inside of the Train (based on data from 19 January – 30 March 2024).

Provision of useful information throughout the journey

Transport Focus’ Rail User Weekly report found that Provision of Information During the Journey for Avanti journeys scored 71% (19 January – 30 March 2024).

Response times to information requests at the station

We do not capture the response times for information requests at stations however we seek to ensure that staff are visible and in the right place and equipped with the right information to help and advise our customers. On our Customer Satisfaction Survey customers rated ‘Information Provided about your Journey at the Station’ at 7.7 in Q4.

97.1% (100 out of 103) of Mystery Shoppers between 7 Jan – 31 March 2024 found that the member of staff on the platform was ‘friendly and helpful from the start of the interaction through to the end of the enquiry’.

Availability of good quality toilets on every train

Availability of Toilets Onboard’ scored 7.5 on our Customer Satisfaction survey in Q3 and 7.9 in Q4.

Amongst Mystery Shoppers for Q4, 92.6% found that the first toilet they attempted to visit was available for use.

Feedback about toilet cleanliness received via our Social Media channels and our post-journey Customer Satisfaction Surveys is shared regularly with our suppliers to help further improve the levels of cleanliness onboard.

Cleanliness and maintenance of stations to a high standard

The ‘upkeep and repair of the train’ was rated 7.3 (Q3) and increased to 7.6 in (Q4) on our Customer Satisfaction survey.

Amongst Mystery Shoppers, 84% rated their overall impressions and customer experience on the train as Good or Excellent in Q4.

Accessibility of stations and trains

All Avanti run stations are Category A (full step free) or Category B1 (step free access to all platforms - may include long or steep ramps). Access between platforms may be via the street. Train accessibility information can be found on our accessible travel policy page.

Assistance procedure in place

To read about our assistance procedure please visit our accessible travel policy page.

No. of cases of assistance per category of service (international/domestic long distance, regional and urban/suburban)

Completed booked Passenger Assistance – 52,435

Incomplete booked Passenger Assistance - 11,482

Complete unbooked Passenger Assistance - 24,208

Passenger assistance satisfaction - 87%

Complaint handling refunds and compensation for non-compliance with service quality standards

We want every experience you have with us to be an easy one. So we work hard to give you a great service every time. But we know sometimes things go wrong. If they do, we want to hear about it so we can make it right, and stop it happening again.

We will offer you compensation if appropriate, in line with our Passenger’s Charter, and the National Rail Conditions of Travel. We will take account of other relevant factors when deciding on levels of compensation and use our discretion where appropriate. If you are entitled to compensation, or we deem it appropriate to offer you discretionary compensation.

Information on how to submit a complaint regarding our services is available via avantiwestcoast.co.uk.

Complaints

The following figures are for complaints received between 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024.

The total number of complaints received during this period were 49,863. During the same period we closed 40,723 complaints. Please note complaints will have been received and closed outside of the reporting period, which is why the complaints closed is higher than received.

Against our target of resolving 95% of cases within 20 working days, our average resolution was 99.48%.

Average response time was 3.46 working days.

Top 5 complaints

  1. Ticketing and refunds policy
  2. Claim rejected
  3. Ticket buying facilities - online
  4. Sufficient room for all passengers to sit/stand
  5. Punctuality/reliability (i.e the train arriving/departing on time)

Classification

Category

Classification

Category

Improvements

Quality on Train

Sufficient room for all passengers to sit/stand

19,777

9,305

We have made a range of improvements to address this issue including our Pendolino refurbishment, providing additional Standard Class seating, replacing the seat reservation system on Pendolino trains, and increasing capacity for sports events. We are planning to introduce additional train services from the June 2024 timetable change and our new Hitachi fleet will provide additional seats compared to the trains they will be replacing

Train Service Performance

Punctuality/reliability (i.e the train arriving/departing on time)

5,847

5,847

Making sure we’re running a reliable service and putting things right when it comes to delays. A key issue in this area was “Punctuality/ reliability (i.e. the train arriving/ departing on time)”. Our dedicated training programmes are helping us to provide the extra drivers we need to improve in this area. We’re also working with Network Rail and other operators to reduce delays and cancellations, including a real focus on improvements for our popular London to Manchester route.

Delay Compensation Schemes

Claim rejected

5,797

2,534

The most complained about topic for this area related to Delay Repay claims being rejected. We’re committed to improving the whole claims experience for our customers. As part of this, we’re analysing the reasons why claims are rejected and why customers complain, so we can identify opportunities to make it easier to claim Delay Repay compensation and avoid situations that cause customer frustration. We’ve reduced the proportion of claims that led to a complaint from 1.1% in 2022/2023 to 0.4% in 2023/2024.

Company Policy

Ticketing and refunds policy

4,576

4,220

We're continuing to work on customer information around ticketing restrictions and the refunds process. We have specific pages on our website which advise and signpost customers to the most suitable option, these include pages for Strike related content, how to claim a refund and explanations around ticket restrictions.

Fares and retailing

Ticket buying facilities - online

3,988

3,384

We’ve continued to improve our website and app booking channels, making them more accessible and making it easier to select seats. We also plan to offer customers the option to book bike reservations on our ticket machines and are working to make each machine more accessible by simplifying the keyboard and adding the option to change the colour contrast on the screen to support customers with visual impairments.


Delay Compensation Table

Total Complaints

Our Service Quality Regime

Alongside other UK Train Operating Companies, Avanti West Coast has implemented the Department for Transport’s Service Quality Regime from October 2021. This assesses Customer Experience standards across all 16 of our managed stations, onboard our trains, and also has a Mystery Shopping component for our frontline, web support and social media teams. Where inspections reveal results that are not up to standard, we are committed to improve these within specified timescales, again, as outlined by the Department for Transport.

From 1st April 2023, we are required to publish our Service Quality Regime results on our website every four weeks. The scores are measured against pre-determined Benchmarks, outlined in the below tables.

Service Quality Performance at our Stations

Ambience & Assets

Cleanliness & Graffiti

Information

Ticketing & Staffing

Benchmark

69%

68%

81%

95%

FY24/25 P01 Periodic Score

61.96%

86.74%

79.82%

93.93%

FY24/25 Annual Average Score

61.96%

86.74%

79.82%

93.93%

Service Quality Performance on our Trains 

Ambience & Assets

Cleanliness & Graffiti

Information

Benchmark

90%

94%

92%

FY24/25 P01
Periodic Score

87.98%

97.03%

83.54%

FY24/25 Annual
Average Score

87.98%

97.03%

83.54%

Service Quality Customer Service Delivery

Staff Helpfulness

Online information

Benchmark

94%

95%

FY24/25 P01 Periodic Score

100%

95%

FY24/25 Annual Average Score

100%

95%