GREAT Western Railway (GWR), which runs along the Cotswold Line, has achieved its highest ever score for customer satisfaction, according to an independent transport user watchdog, Transport Focus.

Increasing its year-on-year measure for overall satisfaction by 3 percent from 81 percent to 84 percent, GWR has posted its highest score since the National Rail Passenger Survey began in 1999.

This year’s score beats its previous high of 83 percent, achieved in 2011.

Mark Hopwood, GWR managing director, said recent investment to improve capacity and punctuality are having the biggest impact on customers.

He said: “These results clearly show our commitment to building a greater west and investing in what we know our customers want to see, and reflect the hard work of thousands of GWR colleagues.

“Customers are starting to see the impact made by converting first class carriages into standard, providing vital extra capacity, as well as Network Rail’s great work in recent months to drive down infrastructure-related delays.

“The team at Network Rail – led by recently-appointed route managing director Mark Langman – should be particularly congratulated for what they have achieved, and we are doing everything we can to help them continue this good work.”

Of the five key drivers of customer satisfaction, GWR improved scores in four main areas, with punctuality improving by five percent, train comfort and length of journey by three percent and ticket purchasing up by one percent.

GWR was one of only five operators to significantly increase their score for overall satisfaction.