Posted 4th January 2023 | 2 Comments

Passengers most concerned about ticket prices

The results of a new survey published by passenger watchdog Transport Focus show that passengers are more concerned about the cost of travelling by train than anything else.

Performance came just behind, while the third priority was trains running often enough, followed by accurate and timely information about the timetable, and then getting a seat on the train.

Less important were helpful staff, clean stations and trains, and reliable WiFi, which was the 23rd category in TF’s list of 25 priorities.

Finding sufficient space for luggage was the least important factor.

More than 15,000 people were asked for their opinions.

Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: ‘The research found passengers’ top two priorities for the railway – well ahead of others – are the “price of train tickets offers value for money” and “reliability and punctuality”. This reaffirms that what matters most to passengers is a punctual and reliable railway that delivers on the timetable’s promise at an acceptable price.

‘The railway must maintain its focus on this. Passengers’ other key priorities also reflect an emphasis on the railway getting the basics right. Passengers want sufficiently frequent trains and accurate and timely information about train times and any delays. They want a seat on board a clean train and, of course, they need to feel safe. These are not the only things that matter, but passengers will judge the railway on how effectively it delivers its “core product”.’

The figures have been published as the RMT and ASLEF both stage more strikes this week. Today is the second day of a 48-hour walkout by RMT members at Network Rail and most train operators, and a second 48-hour RMT strike is planned for Friday and Saturday, while ASLEF drivers will strike on Thursday.

Train services are being severely disrupted throughout Britain, with only one in five trains running at best, although reports say that Network Rail is indicating progress in negotiations over pay and conditions.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • david C Smith, Bletchley

    The basic problem is that public transport has to charge what economists call "total costs" for a journey, whereas many of these costs ( depreciation; mainly ) are paid for independently of usage for private cars , leaving only" marginal costs" to attach to a journey. Hence , the private car seems cheaper as the comparison is not on a "like for like" basis.

    Railcards attempt to counter this situation, albeit on a rather complicated basis.
    Again,in some Australian states, the compulsory third party element of vehicle insurance is paid as a component of road vehicle tax, on a marginal basis.

    We ought to be looking to a shift of road vehicle tax costs from annual charges to per- usage "pay as you go". Also, have just one railcard , but at different annual charge for different categories of people.

  • Martin Marrison, West Sussex

    Now there is a surprise, traveling by train in the UK has always been expensive and the view now is that traveling by car is cheaper.... Unless this is addressed people will continue to desert the railways....