43% of Brits are satisfied with train travel in the UK
June 7th, 2024, Janice Fernandes

43% of Brits are satisfied with train travel in the UK

Train travel remains a significant mode of transportation for many in Britain, despite recent challenges. Amid rail strikes a new YouGov study sheds light on how often Britons use trains and how satisfied they are with the experience.

YouGov research conducted among British adults reveals that 14% travel by train at least once a week, showcasing its regular use by a sizeable portion of the population. Another 14% use the train once a month. However, there is a significant segment (27%) that travels by train less frequently than every six months, and 21% never use trains.

Those living in London are more likely to travel by train, with 37% reporting that they use the train at least once a week compared to Britons in other regions.

Looking at recent train usage reveals that behaviours have not changed much in the last three months. Roughly two-thirds of train travellers (62%) report no change in their train usage since February. However, there are some positive and negative shifts. While 15% say their train use increased (4% a lot, 11% a little), 16% reported a decrease (7% a little, 9% a lot). Age demographics reveals that younger Britons are more likely to be riding the rails more frequently than older demographics.

Why are Britons travelling by train less?

Among those who used trains less frequently in the past three months, cost is a major factor, with 40% citing expensive tickets as a deterrent. Reliability also plays a role, with 31% expressing dissatisfaction with train punctuality. Other factors include the convenience of alternative public transport (13%), inconvenient schedules (12%), and additional costs associated with reaching stations (12%). Notably, limited routes and destinations (10%), rush hour crowding (10%), and accessibility issues (6%) are also deterring factors.

Despite these challenges, the survey reveals that 43% of Britons have a positive perception of their train journeys, compared to 25% who express dissatisfaction. Additionally, 30% of respondents remain neutral, neither holding a negative nor positive view of their train travel experiences. This suggests both room for improvement, but also a base of satisfaction with the overall experience.

Coming to how Britons purchase train tickets, online purchases via apps (30%) and websites (29%) are the clear favourites.  Traditional methods still hold some ground, with 21% using ticket offices and 12% utilising ticket machines at stations. A small percentage (2%) rely on friends or family for booking assistance.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on May 20-21, 2024, with a nationally representative sample of 2,036 adults in Great Britain (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education, social grade and region to be representative of all adults. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

Image: Getty Images