Transport User Voice – November 2019 – Chief executive’s editorial

29 October 2019

Let’s get on the bus!

Bus passengers are in the headlines. After years of neglect it seems policymakers have woken up to the potential for bus to help with climate change, active travel, healthy high streets and local economies. Good. About time – bus is the prime mover in public transport terms.

Transport Focus has plenty of ways to help with this focus and the nudge needed to get more people to try bus:

  • The 2019 Bus Passenger Survey is in field. This authoritative, representative and wide-ranging survey provides invaluable benchmarking of services and a check on the quality of choice. 10 years old next year and all loaded on our DataHub, nearly 500,000 bus passengers have taken part.
  • Give Bus a Go – our West Midlands campaign is in full swing. Click here for more about our ‘busketeers’ – people giving bus a go for the first time or after a long lapse. We are looking to identify barriers to bus use and then wear them down!
  • New large-scale research on bus passengers’ priorities for improvement, non-users and young people will be out soon. Crucial information for policymakers and planners.

Let’s get on the bus!

As Brexit looms and fades we are ready to help Highways England monitor driver information and welfare in any queues that build up on the Dover approaches.

Meanwhile the Government will soon announce the Road Investment Strategy 2 – the 2020-25 spending plan for the Strategic Road Network that we have been closely involved with. Driver satisfaction, as measured by our Strategic Road User Survey, is a key measurement.

The railways are eerily quiet. All eyes on day-to-day performance including the big Great Western Railway/Transport for London timetable change in December and the (sometimes late) arrival of very welcome new trains.

The National Rail Passenger Survey is in field – with the next report due January 2020.

Disappointing that, as we go to press, there has been no release of Christmas tickets from LNER, although we have asked that more information is provided on these services to passengers. Great Western Railway on the other hand has opened bookings and reservations but advises travelling before 23 December.

The findings of the Williams Rail Review will be incorporated in a Rail Reform White Paper. Likely to lead to significant changes in the way the industry is run passengers will simply judge reform by its ability to deliver a more reliable, better value for money railway.

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