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Independent watchdog for transport users

Our mission is to get the best deal for passengers and road users. With a strong emphasis on evidence-based campaigning and research, we ensure that we know what is happening on the ground. We use this knowledge to influence decisions on behalf of passengers and road users to secure improvements and make a difference.

Transport Focus has offices in London and Manchester. You can follow  @transportfocus and its Chief Executive, Anthony Smith, @anthonysmithTF. Sign up here to get email updates or the monthly newsletter Transport User Voice.

 

Transport Focus uses evidence gathered through careful research to influence decision-makers on behalf of transport users. This work focused on a number of key issues, including:

  • performance and disruption
  • fares and tickets
  • quality and level of train, bus or tram services
  • how well roads are managed
  • investment
  • information for passengers and road users

For example, our Passenger Power! campaign saw changes to the rail franchising process for a greater emphasis on customer service.

In May 2018, following rail timetable changes that rescheduled almost half of Britain’s train services, Transport Focus began monitoring implementation closely. Following the unprecedented spate of delays, cancellations and confusion it pressed train companies to provide effective compensation and act swiftly to deliver stable timetables and reliable services. It has continued to monitor performance closely.

Transport Focus carries out research to make sure everything it says is backed up by evidence. Large scale surveys include the National Rail Passenger Survey, where over 50,000 rail passengers a year give their views about recent rail journeys, the Bus Passenger Survey and the Tram Passenger Survey.  From this, it is also possible to explore elements of your journey in depth – for example, further researach looked at bus punctuality when it became clear that this was a common worry across the country.

Alongside this Transport Focus carries out in-depth research into transport user experiences and needs for the future, resulting in lists of top priorities. This work includes the still fairly new Strategic Roads User Survey and Motorway Service Users Survey (MSUS). The results of both these surveys are used by staff who liaise with key stakeholders at Highways England or across the motorway services sector to highlight where action and investment are required to deliver improvements for road users.

In addition we convene a Road User Panel that meets quarterly to bring together a broad range of over 20 organisations with a stake in the roads agenda.

If you make a complaint and you are unhappy with the response Transport Focus may be able to take up your complaint with the rail company involved.

Click here to see some case studies of passengers we have helped recently and here to see how our passenger advisors handle complaint appeals.

You can look up complaint appeals we have received for each operator on our data tool here.

Transport Focus has existed in one form or another since 1947! It was originally formed by the Transport Act as the Central Transport Consultative Committee (CTCC) plus a network of regional Transport Users’ Consultative Committees. Over the years it has evolved and changed its name as the organisation gained responsibility for bus, coach and tram passengers, and most recently road users (in 2015).

Read more about the history of Transport Focus here.

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