Metro passengers have given a thumbs up to seating along the inside wall of its new trains.
Nexus is completing the case for investing £540m in its busy urban rail system. It wanted to ensure it understood passengers’ preferences for the design.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of the transport user watchdog, Transport Focus, said:
“We were delighted to work with Nexus to help them understand what their passengers want from their new trains. There is no better way to ensure the design meets their needs than to ask the users themselves. We conducted similar research for Merseytravel two years ago.
“Our research indicates that perception of space in the train is a key issue for Metro passengers. While passengers are happy with the ease of getting on and off, trains can become congested and future designs should include features that encourage passengers to move down within the carriages.
“Passengers identify the current layout of seats to be a key contributor to a lack of space within Metrocars; linear seating designs are therefore seen to be most suitable for commuters. Not everyone has the same opinion and designs involving a greater mix of seating are favoured by those travelling outside of peak times.”
Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director of Nexus, said:
“We have talked to our passengers early on so that their views can be reflected fully as we complete the business case for trains and approach potential suppliers.
“By working with the leading transport user watchdog, Transport Focus, and experts in community research from Newcastle University’s Open Lab we have gathered valuable independent research alongside our own consultation.
“Metro is the busiest local rail system outside London and our passengers have shown a clear preference for linear seating because of the space and flexibility it provides. Because we have involved our passengers now we can challenge potential suppliers to study and respond directly to this research – and to meet and talk to passengers themselves as the design process moves forward.”
Notes to Editors
The Transport Focus research was conducted by Chime. It involved
- interviewing 1,000 passengers face-to-face as they exited Metro stations
- holding six focus groups of different types of passengers
- holding in-depth interviews with passengers with sight, hearing or mobility impairments.
Click here for the summary report: Tyne and Wear Metro: what passengers want from new trains
The Transport Focus research sits alongside Nexus’s own research and that of Newcastle University’s Open Lab.
Transport Focus, Future Merseyrail rolling stock – what passengers want, April 2014