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Transport Focus Covid-19 return to rail travel – latest research summary (20 August 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.

  • Use of public transport has increased slightly, particularly in terms of people using trains.
  • Among those who have not used public transport, 16% say that they have been avoiding using public transport, while 19% say that they don’t feel safe using public transport at the moment. These findings are consistent with previous weeks.
  • The majority of those who made a train journey in the last seven days wore a face covering for the whole of their journey. 68% of those who used a train say this. These results represent a decrease in mask wearing compared with last week.
  • 44% say that they won’t use public transport unless social distancing is in place and 51% agree that they won’t use public transport unless passengers are required to wear face coverings. These findings represent a marginal decrease in agreement compared with previous weeks.
  • 34% say that they are as comfortable using trains now as they were before the pandemic. Approximately a further 20% in each case say that they expect to feel as comfortable using trains as they did prior to the pandemic within the next 6 months. Those who previously used trains regularly, or who have used trains in the last seven days are more likely than others to be feeling as comfortable doing so now as they did prior to the pandemic.
  • Satisfaction scores given by those making train journeys have largely declined; 77% are satisfied with their journey overall, 66% are satisfied with the behaviour of other passengers, and 65% are satisfied with the number of people wearing face coverings. This being said, train users are increasingly likely to feel safe using trains.