The study was designed specifically to obtain the views of users and potential users of rail travel around areas felt to have the most potential for increasing integrated travel.
The broad aims of the research were to increase insight around passenger perceptions and expectations, with specific objectives around exploring the following:
- the type of journeys and integrated journeys made and decision making and preferences around this
- the gap between perception and reality of both rail and integrated travel and the differences in views and expectations of frequent and less frequent/rare rail users
- the extent to which integrated travel is recognised as a priority for improvement by passengers (and potential passengers) and specific issues relating to this
- from less sustainable (personal) car travel – and understanding the extent to improvements would encourage greater rail use
- how to engage and work with stakeholders to make improvements to the door-to-door journey
The research found that expectations of integrated journeys were often low, and passengers preferred to avoid them where they could. Integrated journeys that involved more modes of transport and stages of travel were perceived to be more risky, stressful and more costly. The perceptions were not only fuelled by any personal experiences on public transport, but also by other people’s experiences and news coverage about transport disruptions. Thus, it seemed common sense to avoid the ‘gamble’ of complex or multi-stage journeys by public transport and take the car.