Unlocking transport: building confidence

12 July 2021

 “I feel that they are being too quick to remove all of the covid restrictions as the virus is still out there and so I am anxious when everyone starts not wearing their mask and mixing in crowds and no social distancing and it will spread again. I don’t like the mask but I think it should be compulsory in some places (like public transport).”

– bus user (female)

“I think it’s about time. We cannot stay locked away forever. The virus is going to be here for a good while yet and we are all fully aware of how to keep ourselves safe. If people still want to wear their masks & avoid crowded places, they have every right to do that but the rest of us need to be allowed to get back to our new normal (whatever that will be), people’s lives & mental health are being torn apart & it cannot go on.”

– train user (female)

As social distancing and face covering rules change many people thinking of travelling may well have ongoing concerns. Our insight work has shown the extent of this concern.

It’s important that all transport operators continue to do what they can to help people feel safe. This means providing clear information when services are expected to be busy, making sure windows are open and air conditioning works plus maintaining boosted cleanliness.

To help build confidence in this next phase passengers could be mindful of others by wearing a face covering at busier times and allowing the personal space some people will still want.

At motorway service areas we have been working with providers to help drivers feel confident about stopping – more on this soon.

Transport Focus will continue to track passenger and driver satisfaction and non-user views as new habits form and experiences change. Our new approach to categorising passengers into those who are ‘carefree and carrying on, ‘anxious and affected’, ‘spring-back socialisers’ and ‘rethinking reducers’ is proving useful in understanding how different people feel and what they need to help them get on the move again. The latest analysis showed a growing confidence among transport users. Another wave of this is due out tomorrow. Let’s see if that confidence lasts beyond 19 July.

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