Transport User Voice – April 2023 – Chief executive’s editorial

30 March 2023

Phew! Some good news at last

The RMT agreement in the dispute with Network Rail looks like it is over. What a relief. While our survey work showed that passengers seemed to be working around the strike days, the loss of confidence, industry distraction and loss of revenue was really hurting. The railway is not in a good place. With a £2 billion gap between costs and income it needs to be looking at going for growth!

Meanwhile, other strikes, such as on National Express buses in the West Midlands, continue along with other rail industrial action. It’s important to sort these all out so we can get back to trusting public transport.

Some other good news though – our new Your Bus Journey survey is now in action. We’re passing on some verbatim comments to operators and local authorities. Soon hard data on all aspects of satisfaction will start to flow. Covering nearly 75 per cent of bus services outside of London this always on, quick feedback survey will start to really map out, drive improvements and benchmark bus services around the country. Government will have a much better sense of what its investment is buying. The bus passenger voice is back.

We’ve also been busy developing our electric vehicle charging survey, which we will launch later this year. This builds on the pilot study we ran in 2022. We have partnered with Zap-Map, which share a link to our survey with its app users. If you are a Zap-Map user, you might see an invitation to take part in our survey. We’d encourage you to let us know about your charging experience…good or bad. We’ll use this feedback to help drive improvements for EV users.

Plus, a really good focus on what rail passengers want. We have updated our guide – have a look. Everyone has their opinion about what passengers need but there is no substitute to asking them. This report should help guide investment and operational decisions. Spoiler alert: value for money and reliability rule!


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