Rail passenger numbers based on ticket sales are at around 30% of pre-COVID levels and are not showing any signs of increasing, although ticketless travel is high. Maintaining rail services is costing the government around £700m per month, which is unsustainable. If numbers do not increase, the Treasury reportedly has plans to close rail lines and cut services due to lack of demand.
The government and the train operators must attract passengers back to rail with fairer fares, aggressive marketing offers, frequent services and a welcome at every station. Railfuture’s message is USE IT OR LOSE IT! Rail is still safer than road, even after taking account of COVID. Relying on your car as your personal PPE is more risky than going by train.
Join our webinar 'Attracting passengers back to rail' on 3rd October 2020.
Railfuture campaigns for faster, longer more frequent trains and bright, clean, more secure stations to attract more passengers to rail and support economic growth. Railfuture meets frequently with the rail companies, building positive relationships and gaining insight which helps us to influence their decisions in favour of passengers. In our contact with the media and the public, we seek to provide independent, informed explanation of the issues which affect passengers. For example, our Train Staff Duties article explains the benefits that that operation of the doors by the driver can bring to passengers.
Successful businesses have excellent customer service woven into their culture, gaining the trust of customers and so ensuring that growth continues. Railfuture aims to help operators to develop a customer service culture and to give passengers an easy journey, with best practice over fares, ticketing, performance, communications, connectivity, onward travel and information.
Our online guide for rail passengers is at Rail user help.
Jane Ann Liston, Secretary, Railfuture Scotland explains why we must attract people back to rail after COVID-19. ScotRail covers train faces to encourage passengers to do the same.
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