Travel gripes revealed

A survey published today by the Transport Systems Catapult reveals the transport issues that ruin our journeys home for Christmas.

Severe weather, traffic jams, and drunkenness are among the top Christmas travel travesties. The YouGov survey, carried out for the Transport Systems Catapult – the UK’s technology and innovation centre for Intelligent Mobility – asked over 2,000 adults in Great Britain about their journey home for Christmas.

Nearly a third (32%) of those surveyed said that severe weather such as snow, fog, and storms has made their journey home at Christmas difficult. One in four (26%) said traffic jams had made their journey home difficult, while 20% cited the cost of travel – for tickets or petrol. Drunkenness and bad behaviour on public transport was high in the poll with eight percent of people saying this had made their journey difficult in the past.

Top Ten Travel Travesties at Christmas

  1. (32%) Severe weather (snow, fog, storms)             
  2. (26%) Traffic jams                                                   
  3. (20%) Cost of travel                                                
  4. (16%) Overcrowding on public transport                
  5. (16%) Engineering works/roadworks                    
  6. (15%) Lack of transport available                           
  7. (11%) Behaviour of other drivers                           
  8. (10%) Queues                                                          
  9. (8%) Drunkenness/bad behaviour of passengers          
  10. (6%) Luggage problems e.g. not enough space

Steve Yianni, chief executive of the Transport Systems Catapult said:

“This survey shows that we need to harness emerging technologies to make transport better, especially during busy times like Christmas. Technology such as driverless vehicles, intelligent phone apps, and social media, will transform how we travel in the future – making journeys faster, easier, and more connected.”

The Transport Systems Catapult, established by the Government in 2013, is developing a range of innovation and technology projects that will help address the issues revealed in the survey.

Severe weather: The Catapult’s resilience programme is investigating the impact that severe weather has on the transport network and how we can use technology to cope better in future.

Traffic jams: Various projects are looking at how we can improve access to data and the visualisation of real-time information to alleviate the pressure on the UK’s road network and reduce delays caused by traffic jams.

Customer experience: One of the Catapult’s major business units focuses on improving the customer experience and making end-to-end journeys better. For example, using social media ‘Sentiment Mapping’ tools to improve the passenger experience on the rail network.

Steve Yianni also said:

“Intelligent Mobility is the future of transport – using emerging technology to improve the movement of people and goods around the world. With a global market estimated to be worth £900bn per year by 2025, it’s a sector that is critical to creating jobs and securing long-term economic growth in the UK.”

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