South Western franchise: passengers’ experiences and hopes for future services
11 January 2016
When new franchise deals are let we want to see passenger views at the heart of the decisions about their services. That’s why we carry out bespoke research into the passenger perspective.
The South Western franchise, currently operated by Stagecoach as South West Trains, ends in June 2017 and the Department for Transport (DfT) is running a competition to find an operator for the next franchise. As part of the consultation process the DfT asked Transport Focus to carry out research to understand passengers’ current experiences and explore their needs and aspirations for future South Western services.
This research found that passengers reported some positive aspects, but also identified these key areas as requiring improvement:
• capacity and seats, both number of carriages and frequency
• information provision, particularly during disruption
• innovation in ticket types and products
• on-board experience
• station enhancement and modernisation.
We will now work with the DfT to highlight these and other issues, and to seek a franchise specification that reflects passenger needs and provides a framework for prospective bidders to propose ambitious and high-quality proposals.
For more detail, you can download the research agency reports as a zip file here.