1/6 As government encourages people to return to offices, it’s worth thinking about why #ukrail seems to be particularly badly hit (at 28% normal levels last Monday vs car 92% and TfL bus 57%), its prospects & what we can do about it.
i.Rail users are more likely to be white collar, and able to continue working from home
ii.Rail serves places perceived as “dangerous” (like London & other big cities), which is esp important for discretionary leisure travel
iii.Rail travel itself is perceived as “dangerous” and until July (yes, July) had a “stay away” message
iv.Likely significant increase in unemployment over the autumn period. & with tools like Teams & Zoom, who knows when (or whether) business travel will return to normal
v.& finally I would imagine that many rail season ticket holders are quite happy & have got used to an extra £500+ in their pocket every month
Together these factors have many implications, such as (see pic)
5/6 So what can we do? When we spoke with @transportgovuk last month we suggested the following as starters (see pic).
6/6 Of these, my favourite is the aligning of future rail investment with housing policy, levelling up, decarbonisation and other policy aims (in favour of the traditional focus on capacity and speed). Would love to see this as part of the IAU's remit @darrenshirley
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