Engineering works: more than half of passengers wouldn’t travel by train if part of journey is by replacement bus

28 March 2013

Passenger Focus is calling on the rail industry to make further concerted efforts to use replacement buses only as a last resort when engineering works take place.

The message from passengers in new research published today is clear:  keep us on the train, even if the re-routed journey is longer than using a replacement bus; let us know before we buy our tickets if our journey will be partly by bus; and when transferring us to and from a bus, make sure you have signposted where we need to go and what we need to do and have plenty of well-briefed staff on hand to help.

Passengers are also unhappy at paying a train fare and getting a bus journey – 85 per cent of passengers felt that using replacement buses warranted a discount on the normal train fare.  

Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus chief executive, said: “It is only natural that passengers stuck on a diverted train, or forced to switch between train and bus with heavy bags, will be frustrated.

“Our research shows that by making sure there is enough information and staff on hand to help, the rail industry can hugely improve the passenger experience.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • 42 per cent of passengers buying tickets online for a journey affected by engineering works did not see a warning to that effect
  • 55 per cent of passengers would not travel by train if part of the journey is to be by bus
  • 75 per cent of passengers will tolerate an extended journey time of up to half an hour on a normally one hour journey if the train is diverted around engineering works.

Notes to editors

  1. Please click the link below to view/download the report:
  2. Passenger Focus is the official, independent consumer organisation representing the interests of rail users nationally and bus, coach and tram users across England outside London. We want to make a difference for rail, bus, coach and tram passengers.
  3. We’ll do this by:
    – providing authoritative advice for industry based on sound research
    – securing improvements to services – both big and small-scale improvements
    – helping passengers with advice and information~
    – campaigning for change
    – acting on rail passenger complaints
  4. For further information please contact:
    Dervish Mertcan
    Communications Officer
    Tel: 0300 123 0847 / 07918 626 045
    or e-mail: 
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