Watchdog publishes West Midlands & Chiltern area rail passenger research

Passenger Focus recently published the findings of research which was used to inform its submission to Network Rail’s West Midlands and Chiltern Route Utilisation Strategy.

Over 2700 train passengers travelling in the West Midlands and Chiltern area were surveyed in order to understand their views on current services, and on potential changes and improvements.

Those surveyed were split across three main routes between: Birmingham New Street and Northampton, Birmingham Moor Street and Leamington Spa/Stratford-Upon-Avon; and Birmingham Moor Street and Worcester via Stourbridge Junction.

The majority of passengers on these routes were not frequent travellers – over a third (39%) were making their first trip on the route when given this questionnaire and a third (30%) had made this journey between two and five times in the last two weeks.

Just under half (49%) of passengers used these routes for leisure purposes, 40% to commute, and 6% for business.

The top three most important facilities to have at stations, as chosen by passengers were:

  • Accurate visual information as to when trains will actually arrive (22%)
  • Car parking (12%)
  • Toilets (12%).

Passenger Focus asked passengers who had travelled on this route more than once how often they were able to get a seat. Leisure passengers stand a better chance of being able to get a seat ‘always/usually’ than commuters (who are more likely to be travelling during the peak).

In particular commuters travelling on the Birmingham Moor Street to Worcester via Stourbridge Junction route are least likely to get a seat with just over half (53%) always getting a seat.


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