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Thank you for choosing to travel with Northern trains, it is a pleasure to have you with us.

The Northern Trains Customer Charter sets out our commitment to provide you with the quality service you have the right to expect.

At Northern we are genuinely passionate about making sure your journey with us is as safe, comfortable, and enjoyable as it can be. We aim to be a dependable part of people’s lives, getting you to where you’re going, safely, affordably and on time.


Our Customer Charter is a promise to our customers. A way of showing that we pledge to provide you the highest quality rail service, including: 

  • Easy access to ticket services
  • Reliable trains that run on time
  • Clean and safe trains and stations
  • Helpful customer service staff throughout your journey
  • Extra help if you need it
  • Clear and helpful travel information


We review our Customer Charter every year in consultation with Transport Focus, the independent transport user watchdog.

You can download a copy of our Customer Charter here or pick up a copy at staffed stations on our network. Or contact our customer experience centre and they will send you a copy.

 

We’re here to help

Our colleagues are here to help you with your journey. Whether that is at our stations, on board the train, through our customer experience centre (0800 602020), via social media or over the phone at our customer assist service (0800 138 5560) we’ll make it easy for you to find advice on all aspects of your journey.

If you’re talking to us face-to-face or on the phone, we are here to provide you with the help you need to make sure your journey is as easy as possible.

Before travel

National Rail Conditions of Travel sets out the legal agreement that you enter into with us when you buy a rail ticket. Where there are facilities available to buy a ticket you must have a ticket, or other authority to travel, which is valid for the train (or trains) you use.

If you would like to see the National Rail Conditions of Travel you can ask to see a copy at staffed stations, or you can download the details from National Rail Enquiries at www.nationalrail.co.uk

Our website and mobile app will help you find journey information and buy tickets online. You can find details on train services, station facilities and ticket office opening times. As well as being able to download timetables, route maps, check train times and buy tickets.

 

Customers requiring extra help

We are making travel as easy as we can for everyone. Our Disabled People’s Protection Policy (DPPP) “Making Rail Accessible”, is available on our website or by calling the dedicated 24hr customer assist line, 0800 138 5560. This sets out the arrangements for customers requiring assistance. If you have particular needs, we’ll do what we can to meet them. We provide a customer assist service and we recommend you give 24hrs notice for us to arrange the assistance you need. However, we understand that this is not always possible and we promise that we will do all we can to help you travel.

You can book customer assist through the form on our website, by filling in a form at stations or by calling the customer assist team on 0800 138 5560.

All of our trains carry wheelchair ramps and our staff are trained to use them.

 

Taking your bicycle

We welcome you and your bicycle to our services. You can take your bicycle free of charge on any of our services, but space is limited. Most trains have enough room for a maximum of two bicycles.

Bicycle spaces cannot be reserved and space is allocated on a first come, first served basis. We only allow one bicycle per person. Trains cannot carry motorised cycles, tandems, tricycles or trailers. Cycle racks are available at many of our stations. For more information, please see our  ‘Cycling Promise’

Information about incidents which cause significant disruption (i.e. delays of more than 60 minutes to more than one service) is available from our contact centres and  our Journey check service on our web site.

JourneyCheck gives you real-time updates on any disruption or issues affecting your route or train. You can find out more here

JourneyCheck provides:

  • Live travel information
  • a summary of any train service problems
  • detailed messages about any service disruption
  • station departure boards.
  • You can also personalise information and save your ‘preferred routes’.

Lost property

If you lose something on-board or at one of our stations, we will do our best to return it to you. Please let a member of staff or our customer experience centre know as soon as possible.

We will

  • try to contact the owner if they can be identified
  • give a receipt to the person who handed the item in, if they ask for it, or
  • keep the item for three months, unless it is perishable (for example, food)

To find out more about reclaiming lost property contact our customer experience centre (0800 602020) or visit our lost property page.

 

During the journey

All our trains have clear signage above the internal doors at the end of each coach, giving information about the location and availability of onboard facilities. You can also ask any member of our staff for this information.

Information regarding the next station will be announced onboard by our train conductor or our automated announcements.

In the case of delays the conductor will announce information at appropriate intervals.

The train conductor and automated system will also make announcements about main connecting services.

Safety guideline leaflets can be found onboard, and the train conductor will also make announcements shortly before departure. Further announcements are made shortly after departure.

Buying tickets

We make it easy for you to buy the right ticket for your journey with a growing number of ways to get your tickets before you travel. We have;

 

If you think you’ve got the wrong ticket for your journey just ask any of our staff, who will be happy to check your ticket, or call our customer experience centre on 0800 200 6060.

 

Getting help

Staff will be available at many stations, particularly busy ones, to help with any of your travel queries.

Some of our small stations may not be staffed when you travel. These stations often have either a help point, linked to our travel advice team, or you can call our customer experience centre. Finally there are also staff on our trains (such as the conductor) who are there to help you.

 

Ticket refunds

If you decide not to use a ticket you’ve bought, you can apply for a refund within 28 days of the expiry date on the ticket. We usually charge a £10 administration fee, unless it was our fault that you decided not to travel.

If you chose not to travel because the train you intended to use was delayed or cancelled, or there was not room for your bicycle, you can return the ticket to us for a full refund (you will not have to pay an administration fee). This also applies to tickets where the customer abandons the journey due to disruption and returns to the starting point. This applies to all ticket types, including Advance, which are otherwise not refundable.

To apply for a refund, this must be completed through the provider you purchased the ticket through. If you’ve purchased directly with Northern, you can request a refund through our website or by contacting our customer experience centre on 0800 200 6060.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

We constantly monitor customer satisfaction through a range of different methods, including the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS).

 

Punctuality of trains

63%

Information to customers in case of delays

33%

Accuracy and availability of information on train times/platforms

80%

Consistently good maintenance/excellent condition of trains

65%

High level of security on train/in station

70%

Cleanliness of inside of the train

68%

Provision of useful information throughout the journey

69%

Availability of good quality toilets on every train

45%

Cleanliness and maintenance of stations to a high standard

69%

 

In 2021 we will move to a new post-journey online survey to ask customers what they think about the key aspects of their experience, their satisfaction with each stage of the customer journey as well as their experience of interacting with Northern staff.

At Northern we set ourselves high standards of train punctuality and make every effort to get customers to their destination on time.

Our 2020 target was to ensure 79% of trains arrive within 3 minutes of their scheduled arrival time in 2020 we achieved 91%

In 2020, 25% of trains where delayed on arrival*, of which:

Trains experiencing a delay of less than 60 minutes

24.3%

Trains experiencing a delay of 60-119 minutes

0.3%

Trains experiencing a delay of 120 minutes or more

0%

 

*This is arrival at destination as official CP6 measures group them together at 30+.

There are occasions, usually outside of our control, where trains may be delayed or disrupted. When this is the case, this is how we will help customers.

We’ll tell you what is happening

We try to do everything we can to avoid them, but sometimes delays or cancellations will happen. We promise that if you are delayed we will give you as much information as we can about what’s happening.

We’ll get you there

If you have a valid ticket and you are delayed, we will get you to the destination on your ticket (or a reasonable alternative station). Sometimes, we might not be able to do this by train, so alternative options with bus companies and taxi firms can be made for you.

In the very unlikely event that we cannot get you to your destination at all, we will provide you overnight accommodation.

We’ll compensate you fairly

You can claim Delay Repay if delays or cancellations result in you getting to your destination 15 or more minutes later than scheduled.  For more information please see further details in our customer promise. You can claim delay repay compensation online or by contacting our customer experience centre on 0800 200 6060. 

Cancellation of trains

When trains are cancelled, we provide the same information and help we give to customers affected by delays, and the same compensation policy applies.

If a train is cancelled and as a result there will be a delay in arrival at the destination station of more than 60 minutes, customers will be entitled to either a full refund of their ticket or can postpone their journey to a later date.

 

 

Train cleaning

We understand that a clean train makes for an enjoyable journey, so we are proud of our daily cleaning regime and the people that deliver it.

Our trains are cleaned every day by a workforce of over 460 train presentation colleagues to ensure they are of a high standard every time you take a journey. We also undertake regular ‘deep cleaning’ across our fleet which happens, on average, every 62 days.

On certain busy services you’ll also see cleaners en-route cleaning the key touchpoints through the carriage

To check we’re giving the right level of service, on top of the cleaning, we also conduct train quality audits each month across our fleet, to ensure we are maintaining our quality standards.

Customers can also do their bit too; we encourage our customers to take their litter home to support us in keeping our trains clean and recycling waste wherever possible.

As well as train, our Stations are also deep cleaned regularly to keep the station environment as clean, safe and clear of litter as possible. Each month we conduct audits of our stations to ensure we are maintaining our quality standards.

 

Toilet facilities

Toilet facilities are available on our trains and at some of our stations. To find out which stations have these facilities, please see our station information pages.

Air conditioning

Some of our trains are equipped with air conditioning to keep our carriages at a comfortable temperature.

Should this fail our train conductors would do everything they can to move customers to an alternative coach.

Everyone needs a little help now and again. Here at Northern we try to make sure we can provide rail services which are accessible to all, so you can travel with the knowledge that extra support is available at each stage of your journey, when needed.

Last year we supported 5668 pre booked assisted travel requests, so we’re always reads to help.

We’ll make it easy for you to talk to a member of Customer assistance team, who are on hand to discuss and plan you journey. Just call us on 0800 138 5560 (text relay 18001 0800 138 5560), or using an online form on our web site

Customer assist is available from 6am to 11pm 7 days a week (excluding Christmas Day). Where possible we recommend booking assistance 6 hours in advance or by 2300 on the day before travel.

For more details about what we offer, you can read our making rail accessible leaflet which gives a guide to travelling with Northern and how we can assist disabled and older customers.

Mobility Scooters

If you need to use your mobility scooter on one of our trains, details of our mobility scooter policy are available from our website or contact our Customer Assistance team.

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Customers are at the heart of all that we do, and we genuinely aim to make your journey as comfortable as possible.

However, sometimes things go wrong and we may not be able to provide the level of service that we promised.  We value any feedback that our customers provide and use this in positive way to improve the level of service we offer.

If you do want to make a complaint, all of our staff are here to help, both on train and at stations, we’ll feedback any comments to right people. In addition, you can register a complaint via our website or contact our customer experience centre on 0800 602020

We aim to resolve and respond to all complaints within 10 working days. Response time may vary during busy periods.

Last year, we received 5968 customer complaints and responded to 5850, of which 99% where within 20 days. The table below shows a breakdown of the top 5 reasons.

Types of complaint – breakdown by theme

 Reason for the complaint

% of complaints

Staff conduct - helpfulness and attitude of staff on a train

14%

Train service performance - punctuality / reliability

13%

Ticketing and refund policy

12%

Quality on the train - upkeep and repair of the train

12%

Staff conduct - helpfulness and attitude of staff at a station

11%

 

We continually review customer feedback and use it to fix customer issues as well as directing our long-term strategy to improve customer service.