GTR TSGN passengers at Brighton

UK: Independent watchdog Transport Focus has published Britain’s railway: what matters to passengers, a report ranking 25 aspects of rail services by importance to passengers and showing how users think the railway is performing in each one.

The report is based on a survey of more than 15 000 people which was carried out to help inform Network Rail’s plans for Control Period 7 in 2024-29.

Transport Focus found the issues that matter the most to passengers across Great Britain were:

  1. the price of tickets, with people wanting value for money;
  2. reliability and punctuality;
  3. sufficiently frequent trains;
  4. accurate and timely information about train times;
  5. getting a seat;
  6. personal security on the train;
  7. being kept informed about delays and the options passengers have;
  8. personal security at stations;
  9. quick journey times;
  10. the inside of trains being clean and well-maintained.

Key findings include:

  • almost three-quarters of passengers believe it is more important for trains to run to schedule, compared with one in five who would prefer a quicker service which may increase the chance of delays;
  • less than half of passengers think the railway currently performs well on delivering value for money tickets;
  • passengers that last used the train more than 12 months ago say that cheaper fares are the factor most likely to encourage them to return to the train;
  • passengers say that the railway’s ability to cope with adverse weather is the most important environmental issue. The railway’s current performance in this area is a concern for some passengers, with more than one in four saying the railway performs poorly;
  • disabled passengers have the same top priorities of reliability and value, but those travelling with a mobility scooter or wheelchair say it is accessibility that matters most to them.

Transport Focus CEO Anthony Smith said ‘passengers want their railway to deliver the key basics — good value, reliability and convenience. To help the government meet its decarbonisation goals, the railway needs to win over new users to public transport. Focusing on doing these things well will help make the railway a good choice.’