Transport User Voice – July 2020 – Age and the train

30 June 2020

Older and younger people have their say

What holds people back from using the train? We, alongside Great Western Railway, wanted to explore why some may be put off and found that some answers lay in older and younger people’s attitudes toward train travel.

The two groups had much in common. Both wanted more independence and for many using a car was not an option. Younger people were too young while older people may have given up driving or found parking provisions too difficult or expensive.

There was also a common theme in the information being provided at the station and on the train. There was a view that you were expected to ‘just know’ certain things, so it was harder for those who hadn’t travelled before. Both groups wanted more staff on hand for guidance or leaflets to be available.

There was a real feeling that the experience should be made more accessible. This can be seen both from getting to and from the station and syncing up bus and train times. Also when it came fares and ticketing the various ticket options made the situation more confusing. Not to mention neither older not younger people have the disposable income to pay excessive amounts for travel, particularly when you add on the ‘first and last mile’ expense.

While the research was completed before coronavirus changed the way everyone travelled we feel it’ll be handy for operators to look at ways of getting passengers back onto the railway. By looking at off-putting causes they may find ways to encourage people to go back to, or start, using the train when they are able to.

Read the full report: Age and the train – How younger and older people use the train.


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