‘Give rail a go!’ New research about passengers in Scotland

12 June 2014

It is possible to improve perceptions of train travel through encouragement. This is a finding of research¹ carried out by Passenger Focus with Transport Scotland.  It was launched by Scottish Minister, Keith Brown MSP, at a reception in the Scottish Parliament.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Passenger Focus, said: “It is good news that it is possible to change perceptions of rail travel. The research showed that non-rail users who were encouraged to ‘give rail a go’ became more open-minded about its benefits and more likely to use public transport. This research identifies things which can make such travel easier and more attractive to passengers.

“However, this research identified areas for improvement amongst existing rail passengers. Those with particular needs include those with luggage and those making unfamiliar or complex journeys.  Also, some passengers have had bad experiences making connections for a holiday, such as travelling by rail and missing their ferry connection. Such experiences affected their view.”

To encourage greater use of rail and other public transport, passengers need to experience seamless, convenient journeys with well-timed connections. Four areas identified for improvement are:

  • Information: providing the right tools to help passengers plan, so their journeys become smoother and less stressful
  • Ticketing, costs and fares: improving simplicity and flexibility as much as possible with potential cost savings
  • Service provision: where different types of transport meet, providing services that are accessible and geared to passengers’ needs as much as possible (such as car parks at stations and co-ordination of timetables)
  • Improved comfort and personal security, particularly on rail.


Please click the link below to download the Transport integration in Scotland research report:

Notes to editors

  1. Passenger Focus carried out the research Transport integration in Scotland with Transport Scotland.  Eight focus groups were held in February 2014 drawn from four locations in Scotland: Paisley, Perth, Dunbar and Aviemore.
  2. Passenger Focus’s most recent National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) (Autumn 2013) showed that passengers rated ScotRail’s overall satisfaction on their most recent journey at 87 per cent, four per cent above Great Britain.
  3. Passenger Focus’s most recent Bus Passenger Survey (BPS) (Autumn 2013) showed that passengers rated overall satisfaction with First buses in Glasgow at 91 per cent and Lothian buses in Edinburgh at 96 per cent.
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