Transport User Panel
As the independent watchdog, it is our job to help those who make decisions about transport to understand how things might be improved for transport users, and what transport users really think.
To find this out we regularly carry out research among those using different forms of transport or making particular journeys.
We also have an panel of transport users across the country who we often ask to give their views about specific issues about which we are interested.
Surveys we carry out through our panel enable us to get a quick sense of events happening ‘in the moment’ and are sometimes used to support the findings that we collect through the larger and more complex research projects that we undertake.
Research using our panel has, in the past, helped to inform those managing upgrade work at stations on how to keep passengers informed, and made clear the impact of strike action on passengers for example.
Explore the research that we have completed with our panel recently further down the page, or click here to see all our recent publications.
Panellists have been telling us how their journeys were affected by the recent timetable changes on the rail network. What they told us gives a sense of the real life impact on rail users like you.
We have shared the comments widely. For example, when talking with train operating companies, encouraging them to act upon their experiences, and with the Department for Transport. We have also used some comments in tweets and other materials to highlight the issues which you have mentioned.
Click here to read more about our work on this.
When a train journey goes wrong, do passengers want to stay on the train or bail out on to a bus?
Our Rail passengers’ experiences and priorities during engineering works research showed that most rail passengers will tolerate an extended journey time of up to 30 minutes – normally on a one-hour journey – if the train is diverted around engineering works.
We wanted to further understand passengers’ preferences for scenarios where planned engineering work would affect a longer train journey of two, three or four hours. How much additional journey time on the train would passengers say they would tolerate before they prefer to change to a replacement coach in order to reach their destination sooner?
You can use the infographic below to explore the results. They confirm our previous findings, demonstrating that – regardless of journey length – a clear majority prefer an additional journey time of 30 minutes rather than change to a coach. The ‘tipping point’ is around 45 minutes additional travel time, with a slim majority preferring to stay on the train if making a journey normally taking three or four hours, and a slim majority preferring the coach for a journey normally taking 2 hours.
So, what does this mean for train companies and Network Rail when they plan engineering work? Keep passengers on the train! The rail industry must ensure it uses replacement buses or coaches only as a last resort.
What do passengers on South West Trains think of quiet coaches?
As a member of our Transport User Panel we would regularly send you surveys and we will use the information you provide on these to influence those who make decisions about the way in which transport is managed.
All information which we collect is held securely and used for research purposes only.
If you are interested in signing up to our panel, please click here.
What is the Transport User Panel?
The Transport User Panel is a group of transport users who have told Transport Focus that they are happy to complete surveys. By doing this they help the organisation to encourage those who manage transport networks to do so with the users in mind.
How did you get my email address?
If you have received an email inviting you to complete a survey for Transport Focus, or if you have received any email communication from us referring to the Transport User Panel, it is likely that you gave us your email address after completing one of our surveys.
Transport Focus runs several large surveys: the National Rail Passenger Survey, the Bus Passenger Survey, the Tram Passenger Survey and the Strategic Roads User Survey. At the end of these surveys you are asked if you’d be happy to receive more surveys about transport and to provide your email address if you are. Other surveys that Transport Focus manages also include a similar question.
You can also join the Transport User Panel by following this link.
What happens after I give you my email address?
Shortly after providing your email address to us you will receive an introductory survey which asks some questions about you, about the transport that you use, and asks again if you’d like to join the Transport User Panel and receive further surveys from us.
We keep the information that you give us regarding the transport that you use so that we can avoid sending you surveys which would have no relevance to you personally. Other personal details, such as age, gender, and ethnicity are kept so that we can compare aggregated responses for different groups of transport users. You are always free to choose whether or not to give us this information.
The information you provide is stored securely and processed in accordance to current data protection regulations. We use it only for our own research purposes and never pass it on to any third party.
When you tell us via the introductory survey that you’d like to join the panel you give your consent for us to process the information you give us as mentioned here. If you tell us on the survey that you do not want to join the panel, we remove the information you’ve given us from our database. If you do not complete the introductory survey at all we will keep your email address and may still send you surveys in the future.
For how long do you keep my details and what if I change my mind?
Each year we will check with you that you are still happy for us to keep your email address and other information as described above. Your response at this time will determine what we do with the information that you have given us previously. You can also be taken off our database at any time by following an ‘unsubscribe’ link which is at the bottom of all the emails that we send to you.