Rail passengers’ priorities:a manifesto for improvement

13 October 2014

Great Britain’s rail passengers have identified better value for money tickets as their number one priority for improvement.

Getting a seat, more frequent and punctual trains, and better information when there are delays, were also among their top priorities. These are the key findings of new research by Passenger Focus, the independent watchdog, into passengers’ priorities for improvement in our railways.

David Sidebottom, Passenger Focus’s director, said: “This research should be key reading for the rail industry and governments. It provides a wealth of data which points to passengers’ improvement priorities for years to come. It is a manifesto for rail passengers.

“Value for money is passengers’ number one priority. This is closely linked to the core provision of a good train service – more trains that run on time and delays that are dealt with effectively when they happen. The rail industry needs to continue focusing its efforts on delivering these core improvements that passengers really want whether in franchise renewals or investment programmes.

“For the first time, free Wi-Fi on trains has made it into the top ten of passengers’ priorities for improvement.”

Key findings include:

  • Passengers in the north of England are prioritising improvements in being able to get a seat on the train almost as highly as better value for money tickets.
  • The information provided to passengers at train stations and when services are delayed are both in the top ten.
  • The top five priorities were broadly the same in England, Scotland and Wales. However, passengers in England gave a higher priority (4th) to punctuality than those in Scotland and Wales (5th) who wanted their train company to keep them better informed when services are delayed as 4th
  • Seating, toilets, bins, platform shelters and waiting rooms were the things that passengers wanted improved most at stations.

The research is available in a variety of ways including by region and country, journey purpose, age and gender. It also includes research on station improvements and those that are ‘top of mind’ for passengers.

 The top ten priorities for improvement across Great Britain were:

  1. Price of train tickets offers better value for money
  2. Passengers always able to get a seat on the train
  3. Trains sufficiently frequent at the times I wish to travel
  4. More trains arrive on time than happens now
  5. Train company keeps passengers informed about delays
  6. Less frequent major unplanned disruptions to your journey
  7. Fewer trains cancelled than happens now
  8. Accurate and timely information available at stations
  9. Journey time is reduced
  10. 10. Free Wi-Fi available on the train

This Rail passengers’ prioritiesfor improvements research was carried out at stations through Great Britain during March and April 2014. More than 3,500 passengers took part.

Click the link below to download the report:

Rail passengers’ priorities simulator tool
We have produced a simulator tool that you can use to run priorities for different groups of passengers. For example, you can run priorities by train company, region or country, journey length, age and gender. Click the link below to download the simulator tool:

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