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Author Topic: Rise in car dependency - unintended consequence, or expected effect of policy?  (Read 1304 times)
ellendune
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« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2018, 07:45:51 am »

Another aspect of useability of public transport is the service frequency at different times of day.  I could take the bus to the station in Swindon and back. In the morning and during the day it is 20 minute frequency, however if I come back after 6, the frequency of buses reduces dramatically and the bus station is not a nice place to wait of an evening. Also it is only a short drive while the bus takes twice as long. By the time I have then added an allowance for unreliability of buses in the morning, the whole thing just adds over an hour to what is often already a long working day. 
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grahame
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« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2018, 08:39:09 am »

One thing that perhaps ought to be undertaken are surveys of those who chose to drive when they could take the train (or a bus). As a rail passenger I get questionnaires periodically, but I am not aware of any sent generally to those who work, asking them why they choose their preferred mode of transport over others.

I have long nagged Passenger Focus - now Transport Focus - to look beyond the satisfaction levels of only the people who are already satfisfied enough to use the train ... Anthony Smith may be rather tired of the question from me.  I am told, though, that some of this research has now been done; I need to chase up its availability and take a detailed.  Apparently limited in scope - "very expensive" to do.

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Some of my work colleagues don't use trains although they could do so. In one case it is because their local station (Liphook) is badly lit at night, and there have been prowlers in the area (a female colleague), another likes winding down after work listening to Radio 4 in his car rather than taking a train to Cosham, and a third doesn't fancy the walk to his local station at Worplesdon down an unlit lane with no pavement or lights.  None of these mention cost or unreliability. Perhaps if this information was gathered and analysed we might find ways of attracting more over.

Agreed.   If you have a station at the end of a deserted cul-de-sac at the back of an industrial estate it can feel a bit unsafe at night and put people off in the dark.  For a commuter town where evening traffic is mostly inwards, a shuttle bus around the town meeting each train would do wonders ...

Cosham is the station where even some of the trains (GWR's) don't call after dark, isn't it?  If it scares the trains, it must petrify the people.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2018, 08:47:08 am »

I suspect all of these things are factors - it'd be interesting to have a top 10 - Unreliability, cost, overcrowding, filthy trains, inconvenience, unsafe/insecure station environments, lack of connection with other means of transport, poor customer service, lack of disabled provision, long promised improvements which never materialise, together with all those that others have listed here (and elsewhere) are inevitably going to be factors to a greater or lesser extent.

The big question is of course, what are the railways going to do to address them, and get these customers (back) on board? (Hopefully with enough space to breathe when they do)
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ChrisB
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« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2018, 10:34:57 am »

The problem is that there is little incentive....if passenger numbers seriously drop off then there might be, but otherwise franchises aren't set up any more to encourage the TOCs to (further) increase traveling numbers
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2018, 04:58:36 pm »

The problem is that there is little incentive....if passenger numbers seriously drop off then there might be, but otherwise franchises aren't set up any more to encourage the TOCs to (further) increase traveling numbers

......interesting point, and to be honest, it's hardly in the interests of existing customers for more to be encouraged on to trains which are already dangerously overcrowded, most of us welcome a bit more space!
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2018, 05:12:23 pm »

The problem is that there is little incentive....if passenger numbers seriously drop off then there might be, but otherwise franchises aren't set up any more to encourage the TOCs to (further) increase traveling numbers

This. I was discussing a poor experience with a cross country employee. His response interested me. “Management don’t care as we are exceeding capacity so we could do with losing some passengers”
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2018, 05:26:35 pm »

The problem is that there is little incentive....if passenger numbers seriously drop off then there might be, but otherwise franchises aren't set up any more to encourage the TOCs to (further) increase traveling numbers

This. I was discussing a poor experience with a cross country employee. His response interested me. “Management don’t care as we are exceeding capacity so we could do with losing some passengers”

That's probably the one thing Management and Customers agree on!!!  Smiley
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grahame
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« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2018, 05:48:09 pm »

Not only is there little incentive to encourage more passengers where trains are already full and bursting and not scheduled for any sponsored enhancement it the near future, but perhaps there are even element of the opposite?  Where a train operators is negotiating a continuation of their operation, and are the only bidder, could it not be seen as in their interest to start from a 'difficult' position - that way the DfT might be tempted to accept a lower bid / pay a greater price if the contract is one that requires subsidy?
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ChrisB
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« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2018, 06:17:39 pm »

Isn't that why the XC re-franchise was halted when XC were the only interested bidder?
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