Transport User Voice – April 2022 – Chief executive’s editorial

28 March 2022

Free travel for Ukrainian refugees

Well done to the rail and bus industries for moving so quickly to sort free travel for Ukrainian refugees. A really good move that will help make life a little bit easier for those fleeing the horrors at home. You can see how Wales is helping here.

At Transport Focus it’s heads down and busy at the moment but here is a snapshot of what we doing.

We’re developing and broadening our work talking to road users. We’ve got fresh looks at how the needs of cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians are being met on and around the A27 and junction 5 on the M2, among other locations. This work drives change as road improvements can be modified to better meet the needs of all users. More work on this topic is planned for eastern England later this year. New insights into the experiences of charging electric vehicles on major roads is showing promise – in time benchmarking different providers and locations will help drive up standards.

Plus, our work talking to lorry drivers about the quality of rest facilities is well underway. And our Strategic Roads User Survey is back, with the results all loaded onto our data hub – so the everyday experiences of road users are fed directly back to National Highways and used to drive improvements. Longer-term, our work with users on the next period of investment in major roads will be published soon. We also hope to run the Motorway Services User Survey later this year – people need decent places to stop and rest.

As we and others await the outcome of Government funding decisions on English bus services outside London, we are getting our new bus passenger survey ready. Government will want to know that its investment is driving change and we can help measure that. Also, we have done some work with our 20,000 plus strong online Transport User Panel seeking to understand why concessionary pass bus use has dropped and stayed down – results out soon.

We continue to monitor the experiences of rail and bus users through our regular survey – results will be available monthly. We use a flexible omnibus (lots of questions about different topics) survey, which means we can also continue to capture the views of people not using public transport.

We used our Rail and Bus User Weekly Survey to analyse the comments we got on cleanliness and staff. This helped us understand in more depth what people think and how operators can make improvements. It also meant we were able to understand the reasoning behind the satisfaction scores that people gave.

All of this work and more will be captured in our new Workplan for 2022/23 which will be out soon. The user voice is driving change and helping to prioritise investment just as it should do.

I hope we can meet some of you in person at our Board meeting being held in Edinburgh on 18 May. More details soon.


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