Transport User Voice – Chief executive’s editorial August 2017

31 July 2017

Has a report ever been launched at a motorway service area before? (alright someone tell me…!). We will be presenting our first Motorway Services Users Survey results at a location to be announced in September. These services matter – taking a break is key to safety to they need to be attractive places to rest and recuperate.

Meanwhile also out soon is our work on Rail Passenger Priorities for Improvement. A good addition to the knowledge culled from the latest National Rail Passenger Survey results. Reliability rules – passengers want to see a reliable, value for money railway. Getting a seat is a more vexed issue – more on that later.

The job of assembling the mosaic of the Bus Passenger Survey is well underway. We should have a good sample size again this Autumn and hopefully Wales will be back in again. Also out soon is our new work on young people and bus services – fascinating stuff.

Our Three-year and One-year Workplans plus our latest Insight Plan have been published – have a look to see what is coming up – we tried to build a lot of your feedback from our recent stakeholder survey into these plans so I hope you can see some of your comments reflected. Our Annual report sets out what we achieved for transport users in the last 12 months – a good list of wins including:

  • a rail passenger who innocently forgets their railcard is now able to reclaim the cost of any new ticket they had to buy as a consequence. The Government has ordered the setting up of an independent Penalty Fare appeal body. These are examples of where our complaints casework has led to change
  • Southern rail passengers can now claim Delay Repay compensation on the 15 minute mark instead of 30 – a direct result of our research and advocacy
  • rail passengers can now claim cash for refunds rather than vouchers, and season ticket refunds are now calculated more fairly – both wins for our work
  • bus passengers in Liverpool are seeing more attractive offerings – such as on fares – and are happier with their service as a result of using the Bus Passenger Survey to target improvements
  • 16 to 18-year olds across Manchester can now benefit from half-fare day tickets on the bus since the bus company saw this age group were dissatisfied with value for money in the Bus Passenger Survey
  • bus passengers in the east of Scotland now benefit from a new fleet of buses and improved comfort and cleanliness following the Bus Passenger Survey highlighting poor passenger satisfaction in 2014
  • bus passengers in Brighton and Hove should be able to get on and off buses more easily with their new vehicles in response to low satisfaction scores with this factor in the Bus Passenger Survey
  • we made Dartford Crossing charging information clearer and ensured drivers who made an initial innocent mistake are treated leniently
  • our research showed drivers’ dislike of long road work sections. Shorter sections now feature in planning
  • we asked the A303 Stonehenge improvement scheme to consider wider road user needs beyond locally affected communities. Highways England’s consultation plan then included drivers who use that road from a much wider area. Part of our drive to boost the user voice
  • where there is a delay or incident, road users should now see better information to help them better plan their journey
  • Edinburgh tram passengers said in the Tram Passenger Survey they were not happy with frequency. Now more trams are running and satisfaction has gone up.

So enjoy your August, probably best to avoid Waterloo if you can and wherever you are going, plan ahead and go safely.

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