Transport User Voice December 2023 – Around Great Britain

29 November 2023

A roundup of our work


Giving evidence to Senedd Committee

Earlier this year, Transport Focus expressed concerns about rail performance in Wales to the Senedd. This alongside our letter to Transport for Wales requesting actions for improvement resulted in an invitation to give evidence to the climate change, environment and infrastructure committee.

The committee scrutinises and hold to account the Welsh government across a range of areas including transport. Ahead of the session, we were asked to provide a short summary of our evidence in writing.

Throughout the session we used evidence from our research and experience working with Transport for Wales to illustrate how we challenge for improvements and highlight the need to focus on delivering passenger priorities. These included the need for reliable and frequent services, and ensuring passengers can get a seat at a value for money price

The session also included contributions from Peter Kingsbury, chair of Railfuture Wales and Jools Townsend, chief executive of Community Rail Network, giving evidence on the overall delivery of the rail franchise and metros over the past five years and rail performance and passenger impact.

The committee session is available to watch on the Senedd website.

New trains on Carmarthen route

Passengers in Wales are set to benefit from the introduction of brand-new trains on the Swansea to Carmarthen route.

Transport Focus attended the launch of the class 197 trains at Carmarthen Railway Station to see improvements including better onboard information, wider doors and more comfortable seats. The trains were formally unveiled at a naming event by Transport for Wales’ chief operations officer, Jan Chaudry-Van Der Velde and chief commercial officer Alexia Course with the first new train named ‘Carew Castle Express’.

The name was chosen as part of the ‘Magnificent Train Journey’ competition involving local schools. The winning school and the rail industry stakeholders were there to see the launch and to have a look around the new train serving the route. The new trains are cleared to run as far as Carmarthen and into West Wales over the coming months.


Passengers at Birmingham New Street station are benefitting from extra safety and security measures including an increased staff presence in the build-up to the festive season and when visiting the Christmas markets.

Timetable changes are also planned for December across the region on rail, with adjusted timings and capacity of services to reflect the change in passengers travel patterns on weekdays and weekends.

The introduction of new electric trains by West Midlands Trains has started with the launch of its class 730 trains coming into service came with sister company London Northwestern Railway on routes to and from London Euston. The rollout will continue into 2024, starting with the Walsall-Wolverhampton route. The new electric trains will see a doubling of capacity for passengers across the new three carriage trains on the Cross-City line.

Various community rail projects across the region have received funding from West Midlands Trains’ ‘Our Community, Your Fund’ sponsored by the Department for Transport. Transport Focus helped assess entries to the scheme which can award up to £10,000 to projects to improve the station experience at a local level.


Interim results from Your Bus Journey

How satisfied are bus passengers in Scotland?

Results from the new Your Bus Journey survey reveal that 84 per cent of passengers are satisfied with their bus journey. Launched in January 2023, the new Your Bus Journey passenger satisfaction survey from Transport Focus is one of the biggest undertaken. It takes a different approach to our previous bus research as it will continuously collect the experiences of bus passengers in participating areas over an entire year.

We recently presented our interim findings from the first part of the year at the Confederation of Passenger Transport Scotland Conference. The figures show some promising results with areas still to work on by bus operators and transport partnerships.

Interim satisfaction results – Scotland

  • Value for money – 63 per cent
  • The bus stop where you caught the bus – 77 per cent
  • The length of time you had to wait for the bus – 73 per cent
  • The punctuality of the bus at the stop where you caught the bus – 78 per cent
  • The driver of the bus – 87 per cent
  • The length of time your journey on the bus took – 82 per cent.

The event brings together bus and coach operators, suppliers, national, regional and local government representatives to consider key issues including decarbonisation, designing city spaces and accessibility.

This provided the ideal opportunity to engage delegates on the issues that are important to bus users, share initial findings and trends and update them on the next 6 months working towards the final results.

New timetable options for ScotRail

ScotRail has recently unveiled new timetable options for passengers across Ayrshire, Inverclyde Fife, Perth, and Dundee, which will also serve the new stations at Leven and Cameron Bridge. The operator has also been seeking feedback on proposed timetables to be introduced in 2024. It’s positive step to see ScotRail engaging passengers on decisions affecting their services and help inform future service provision.


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