Transport User Voice – October 2020 – Chief executive’s editorial
29 September 2020
What do transport users need?
In the new world we are now all living in, what do transport users need Transport Focus to be doing on their behalf? How can we continue to be useful? In our weekly Omnibus survey and road, bus and rail online communities we are picking up some strong themes.
As road traffic is now essentially back at pre-Covid-19 levels drivers’ concerns remain similar. Safe, reliable and smooth journeys are key. Among other things we will soon publish more in-depth work on the user experiences and needs from smart motorways. We will continue to press for improvements in the way that roadworks are advertised and handled. We will soon restart our successful Sort My Sign campaign – aimed at getting the basics right.
On bus and rail, we will continue to advocate with operators, disability groups and the police to improve the visibility of staff and appropriate challenging of people not wearing face coverings – otherwise public confidence in using public transport may plateau.
We are starting to think how we can be useful in the debates around ‘levelling up’. Bus will play a key part in this – both the extent of networks and information/fares are important as is the idea of pooling transport in an area to ensure the best use of this precious asset. Unlocking mobility if you like! We’re also starting to think about how, in future, local authorities, transport providers, central government and passengers can all join to share planning, risk and reward and control over services.
We will continue to work with operators and local authorities to ensure the return to bus travel continues and is financially sustainable.
On rail, we will strive to improve ticket retailing. Flexible season tickets, cut price offers and better value for money fares will all feature. This work will be particularly aimed at the leisure market which has held up better than commuting.
Our partnership with London TravelWatch goes from strength to strength. Pooling knowledge, skills and resources is making more of a difference for all transport users. Similarly, in Scotland, Wales, the West Midlands and elsewhere we are working to improve services.
All of this, and more, will feature in our workplan for the next six months which will be published soon. Our data hub continues to attract more users – go and have a look.
Meanwhile, travel safe and stay safe.
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