Transport User Voice – August 2020 – On the blog

28 July 2020

Round-up of the month

This month Anthony was blogging about rail fares reform in response to new ways of working, clarity of messaging over using public transport, whether people would go back when that messaging did change and our new podcast on the future of bus.

While we can’t pretend lockdown was ideal, many people have seen the benefits of home working. It doesn’t look like we’ll be rushing back to the office any time soon and, when we do, whether it’ll be the same as before. The money we spend on rail fares has also been put into a harsh light as a result.

Anthony said: “This value for money challenge will be exacerbated by the changes in working practices we’re now seeing. People working from home for two or three days a week do not want to pay for a traditional season ticket, but still expect some recognition that they are a regular, if less frequent, traveller.” Read more.

Despite the re-opening of shops, pubs and restaurants we were still being told to avoid public transport. We found there was conflicting messages and urged Secretary of State Grant Shapps to provide consistency.

Anthony said: “For some the only option to get a long-awaited haircut, see a family member or to visit a pub is to use public transport. It is not fair that those that do not have alternatives to public transport may be discouraged to use it due to unclear and inconsistent messages.” Read more.

After the Prime Minister’s announcement on 17 July encouraging the use of public transport, we looked at what could still be stopping people from going back.

Anthony said: “This week we wanted to take a closer look at those who used to be ‘regulars’ – what do they think about returning to travel? The answers make interesting, and worrying, reading. As mentioned above, 35 per cent overall said they hadn’t used public transport in the last week because they didn’t feel safe.” Read more.

For the second episode of our podcast we had a roundtable discussion on the future of bus, featuring Transport Focus colleagues Linda McCord and David Sidebottom as well as Alex Hornby from Transdev.

Have a listen here.


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