Passengers’ relationship with the rail industry

15 August 2014

In many walks of life there can be a gap between someone’s general perception of an issue and their actual experience – for instance it isn’t uncommon  for the fear of crime to be worse than the actual level of crime experienced. This can also extend to a general or blanket perception of an entire profession or a service as in the case of restaurants as can sometimes be seen on Trip Advisor.

In the rail industry the debate centres on the difference between passengers’ perceptions of an individual journey compared to their overall perception of the railways as an industry. Individual levels of satisfaction – as measured by the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) – tend to be higher than the general mood of delays and disruption.

We wanted to understand how these differ, why and what can be done to narrow the gap. This isn’t just an academic issue – there are billions of pounds being invested in tracks, trains and stations (on top of the fares passengers themselves are paying) and there is a risk that some of the value from this is lost so long as general perceptions of rail lag behind delivery. This research is an attempt to unlock some of this potential and to guide industry and policymakers to make good spending decisions about passengers’ priorities. This research is not about improving the image of the railways rather it is about highlighting those areas where passengers’ relationship with the rail industry is low and suggests how this could be improved.

To download the summary report, click on the ‘Download’ button below.

For the detailed report on the initial qualitative research, please follow this link:–qualitative-research-august-2014

For the full report on the main, quantitative stage, please follow this link:

Passengers relationship with the rail industry - Executive summary - August 2014
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