Age and the train: How younger and older people use the train

11 June 2020

What do older and younger people have in common when it comes to thinking about train travel? As it turns out quite a lot. Transport Focus and Great Western Railway wanted to look more closely at potential causes why these two age groups may be put off travelling by rail.

Although this research was completed before the coronavirus pandemic, we feel it will be particularly relevant when travel starts back up again. By identifying the fears around travel from these age groups we hope operators can pick out what can be done to encourage people to go back to, or start, using the train when people are able to.

The report found that some concerns lay in the first and last mile, that is, getting to and from the railway station. For young people travelling by train gives them freedom but having to ask for lifts from adults undermines that. Similarly, older people who no longer drive find themselves having the same issues.

Another common theme was the presence of staff and the availability of information both at stations and on the train. Both groups expressed wariness about approaching staff for help for various reasons.

The report was undertaken by the agency 2CV. We hope the findings will benefit not only GWR but other rail operators as well.

Please find the full report and three agency slide decks from the individual stages below.

Age and the train - How younger and older people use the train travel
Age and the Train - stage 1
Age and the Train - stage 2
Age and the Train - stage 3
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