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King's Lynn, Watlington and Downham Market passengers with Great Northern are England’s most satisfied with train cleanliness despite RMT pay row

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West Norfolk commuters will be heartened that passengers on Great Northern are the country’s most satisfied with the cleanliness of their trains, according to survey results published today by the watchdog Transport Focus.

Great Northern runs the Lynn to King's Cross railway line, which takes in Watlington and Downham. Rail union RMT is actually in dispute with train bosses over pay to cleaners.

Among rail passengers interviewed for the national survey over the past 12 weeks, 91 per cent of those using Great Northern said they were satisfied with how clean the interior of their train was – 12 percentage points above the national figure of 79 per cent.

The Class 717 Great Northern train.
The Class 717 Great Northern train.

The survey also shows that train cleanliness is now one of the most important aspects of passengers’ journey experience, topped only by punctuality and level of crowding.

Great Northern had the second-highest scores for both overall satisfaction (95 per cent, behind only c2c) and level of crowding (84 per cent, behind only Merseyrail). For satisfaction with punctuality, Great Northern’s 85 per cent was two points above the national figure.

Nine in every ten Thameslink passengers were satisfied with their journey, putting the operator mid-table, but consistently above the national figure, for all aspects reported.

Train cleaners picketing outside King's Lynn railway station on Saturday, March 12 2022. MLNF-22PM03109
Train cleaners picketing outside King's Lynn railway station on Saturday, March 12 2022. MLNF-22PM03109

Rob Mullen, train services director for Great Northern and Thameslink, said: “We’re grateful to our customers for this encouraging vote of confidence. It’s great to see our hard work is paying off, but we know we’ve got to keep that hard work going to ensure everyone’s health and comfort as we welcome them back to the railway.

“The safety of our passengers is our top priority. We sanitise all of our train carriages every day and use a long-lasting viricide across stations and trains which kills coronavirus for weeks at a time.”

To keep passengers and staff safe, Great Northern and Thameslink are continuing an enhanced cleaning regime focused on touch points. All train carriages are sanitised every day, and viricides are applied regularly to give long-lasting protection across stations, trains and staff areas.

Weekly Covid safety checks are carried out across trains and stations, looking at cleaning and passenger information. All air-conditioned trains continually refresh the air in each carriage every six to nine minutes.

Workers and supporters had picketed outside Lynn's railway station on March 12 during a 48-hour walkout by members of the RMT union over the pay dispute.

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