‘Back to basics’ – what passengers want from rail services

08 December 2022

Better value fares, trains you can rely on and more of them please say passengers.

Independent watchdog Transport Focus spoke to more than 15,000 people to help the railway target its investment on the improvements that matter most to passengers.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent watchdog Transport Focus, 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.”

Key survey 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 unsurprisingly those travelling with a mobility scooter or wheelchair say it is accessibility that matters most to them.

The top issues that matter the most to passengers across Great Britain are:

  1. Price of train tickets offers value for money
  2. Reliability and punctuality
  3. Sufficiently frequent trains
  4. Accurate and timely information about train times
  5. Getting a seat on the train
  6. Personal security on the train
  7. Being kept informed about delays and the options passengers have
  8. My personal security at stations
  9. Quick journey times
  10. Inside of trains being clean and well-maintained.

DOWNLOAD REPORT: Britain’s railway: what matters to passengers


National rail strikes are causing significant disruption to passengers. We want to hear about how you have been affected – your stories help us demonstrate the impact on passengers  Help us make a difference by filling out our rail strike survey.

For further information please contact: Kieran Watkins, Communications Manager, 07850 076 493 / kieran.watkins@transportfocus.org.uk

This survey was carried out in partnership with Network Rail to help inform its plans for the next railway investment period (Control Period 7, 2024-2029). More than 15,000 people were asked about what is important to them, and current experiences.

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