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Research shows Rail Review must help train, bus and bike work together

18 May 2019

Research from Campaign for Better Transport as part of its submission to the Government’s review of the railway, released publicly today (18 May), has shown the importance of making train stations easier to get to.

The transport charity is calling for the Rail Review to ensure that stations are better connected to other sustainable transport to help boost passenger numbers and local economies.

The report found that the farther away people live from a train station, the less they travel by rail: 17 per cent of people who live within 5 minutes' walk of a station use the train multiple times a week, whereas only two per cent of people who live more than 30 minutes' walk away use the train multiple times a week.

As half of train journeys start with a walk to the station, pedestrian access is key; but access by other modes should be treated as a high priority too. Despite making up 56% of the population, people who live over 20 minutes’ walk from the station make less than 25% of journeys. This suggests they find it difficult to use rail as part of an integrated door-to-door service alongside other modes.

The report also found that limited access to stations by bicycle, bus and other public transport is creating a barrier to more people travelling by rail. Addressing this is key to increasing the percentage of the population who regularly use the train.

Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: “The rail network should not remain disconnected from the wider public transport system. We frequently hear of examples where walking, cycling or taking the bus to a rail station is near impossible. In many places bus and rail timetables seldom align, there’s no integrated public transport ticketing system, and provision for cycling to and from train stations can be limited.

“Being able to easily access your local train station by public transport, walking or cycling is key to boosting passenger numbers. Our research has shown how easy access to a rail station encourages use. That’s why the Government’s Rail Review must look at not just how to run the railways, but the kind of railway we want for the future; one that is at the heart of a sustainable transport network that delivers economic and environmental benefits to communities and the country as a whole.”

The research, which was undertaken in conjunction with industry consultants Teneo, has been published by Campaign for Better Transport as part of its submission to the Williams Rail Review Call for Evidence on objectives and assessment criteria.

Matt Lovering, Senior Managing Director and Head of Transport at Teneo, said: "The railway is one of the country's great social and economic assets. But the country - and the role that the rail network plays within it - has changed immeasurably since the railways were privatised. The difficulties the rail industry is currently facing demonstrate that it is struggling to respond to those changes. As a result, there is a growing consensus that the rail industry in the UK needs to change, and that the structure of the last 25 years that has helped transform the railways since privatisation needs radical reform.

"The Williams Review offers the framework to deliver that reform. But if that framework is to endure, it is essential that there is an agreement on the goals the rail network needs to achieve for passengers, businesses and communities and a clear understanding of the current and emerging barriers to achieving those outcomes.”


For further information please contact the press office on 020 3746 2235 or communications@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

Read the Campaign for Better Transport report in full.

Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).

Teneo is a global advisory firm, working with the CEOs and leaders of the world’s largest and most complex companies. 

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