Crowding at railway stations

Cutting crowding would boost public transport demand, survey suggests

Crowding at stations
Photo: PA Media

Less crowding is the main measure that would increase the use of buses and trains, a new survey suggests.

Some 30% of people questioned said having more personal space onboard services would encourage them make more use of public transport.

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This was ahead of cheaper single or day tickets (29%), better routes (29%), and more frequent services (26%), according to the poll of 2,129 UK adults commissioned by Campaign for Better Transport.

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Other factors that would encourage more bus and train travel according to the survey include temporary promotions such as half price fares (17%), simpler payment options (15%) and better access to live service information (12%).

One in five (20%) respondents insisted that nothing would encourage them to increase their use of public transport, rising to 29% among those aged 55 and above.

The survey, conducted last month, also suggested that private cars will remain the dominant form of transport for around half of trips for shopping, leisure and personal matters, once all coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

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Separate Department for Transport figures show that car use has returned to around 84% of pre-pandemic levels, whereas bus use outside London is at 43%, and train travel is at 23%.

Campaign for Better Transport chief executive Paul Tuohy said: “Cars are the main contributor to carbon emissions and lethal air pollution, so returning to a car-dominated transport network is simply not an option, post-Covid.

“Our research highlights that unless the Government does more to promote public transport and encourage its use, we cannot hope to reduce harmful emissions or build back in a way that is fair and sustainable.”

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Sam Hewitt

Let off some steam...