Chief executive’s editorial – keeping transport users at the forefront

22 February 2017

We are changing the way we travel. Less bus travel overall, but more use of rail, cars, tram, taxis and other Uber-style services. Road freight is also on the up. One of the consequences of this, fuelled by local government spending pressures, is ongoing changes to the shape of local bus networks as councils look hard at where to save money.

Changes to bus services need to be done well to make sure that they maximise the opportunity for looking afresh at how routes are designed and to make sure that the impact of service reductions is minimised. Our new bus services consultation research is designed to help councils and bus companies do just that.

Our new Strategic Roads User Survey is a world first. No-one has ever set out to gather road user views in such a comprehensive and timely way before. Working closely with the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency we are now piloting of the online survey with car, van and truck drivers. I firmly believe this survey will have a major impact on the way roads are planned, designed and maintained in future.

We are also on the road presenting the results of the Bus Passenger Survey to local authorities and bus companies. Everyone is very keen to find out how they have done in comparison to their rivals and peers. The full results will be launched in Liverpool in March.

On the railways the Southern dispute disappointingly and painfully grinds on towards its eventual and inevitable settlement. More passenger pain to come. In this month’s Transport User Voice we’ve sifted through the small print on Southern’s compensation scheme so that passengers don’t have to. Make sure you claim the compensation you are entitled to.

It is great to see passengers involved in new train design in our latest report on the Tyne and Wear Metro. Following on from our work for the new trains on Merseyrail, Nexus has also gained passengers’ input prior to train designs being drawn up for the Tyne and Wear Metro. Let’s hope we get the same input on the huge number of new train orders coming – including those on HS2.

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