Transport User Voice – Chief executive’s editorial

30 June 2017

Southern blues…

More industrial action taking place on the Southern, Northern and Merseyrail networks casts a shadow over the very tender roots of recovery on Southern we have seen in recent months. The Southern action is thrown into an even harsher light by the recent Gibb report. This was commissioned by Government to look at the performance issues on Southern and looking ahead to Thameslink 2018. Not happy reading for all concerned but especially Government and the unions: both need to reflect deeply about their next steps. Passengers need to have some questions answered and to be involved in the tricky decisions needed now if the 2018 timetable is going to be the full success it should be.

Road users gave us clear messages in our new report about their priorities for improvements on the Strategic Road Network in the next Road Investment Strategy. Better safety, more predictable journeys, improved road surfaces and better roadside facilities loom large. We will use the report to argue for more user focused investment to tackle these issues. We are doing in-depth work in each of these main areas to really understand what users want to see.

Meanwhile tram passengers are very content with their lot – good scores and good levels of improvement seen on all networks. Cost issues aside it does make you realise trams can probably attract people in a way other modes maybe cannot?

Improving the quality and reliability of bus services is a key aspect of our work. We are now working with local authority and bus operator alliances across England to help them all become more passenger focused. Good first steps – many use our Bus Passenger Survey as a key benchmark of success.

We are now close to publishing our new three and one year Workplans plus our Insight Plan which we will update regularly. Drawing heavily on our recent Stakeholder Survey we set out to show how we have and how we plan to make a difference. Focusing on making a difference for today and tomorrow’s transport users we also aim to make Transport Focus a hub for evidence and insight. More to follow soon…

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