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Transport Focus Covid-19 return to rail travel – latest research summary (20 July 2021)

Passenger transport watchdog, Transport Focus has continued surveying 2,000 people over the past year, to gauge attitudes on public transport use during the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest results are available here. We have been regularly summarising the figures for Community Rail News over the past year.

  • Similar proportions have used public transport last week as did in the week previously. 21% have used public transport to make journeys, with 8% having used a train.
  • Of those who have made a journey (by any mode) 40% have made journeys for leisure reasons including eating out and visiting attractions and a 36% have made a journey to or from work.
  • Among those who have not used public transport, 17% say that they have been avoiding using public transport, and 20% say that they don’t feel safe using public transport at the moment – this last finding representing a small increase (of 2%) on last week’s result.
  • Of those who made a journey by train 40% say that on the last occasion that they did so they found it to be busier than they expected. Generally, those making journeys to or from work are more likely than those making journeys for leisure to say that they found their train be busier than they expected.
  • 58% of those who haven’t made a journey by train in the last seven days say that they would feel safe making a journey by this mode of transport.
  • 45% agree that as long as passengers are wearing face coverings, reducing the social distancing on public transport makes sense to them – representing a small increase of 3% compared with last week’s result. 49% say that they won’t use public transport unless social distancing is in place and 57% agree that they won’t use public transport unless passengers are required to wear face coverings. In each case, these results represent the end of what had been a downward trend in agreement over previous waves.