Savanta ComRes conducted an in-depth research project on behalf of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) among public transport users with disabilities and impairments. This study explored their awareness of assistance available on the rail network, the barriers to awareness, factors that deter people from using the railways and ways to overcome barriers and concerns.
To ensure both breadth and depth of insight, Savanta ComRes used a mixed-methodology approach, consisting of a quantitative survey of 1,000 public transport users with disabilities (combining online and telephone fieldwork to ensure complete coverage), as well as 10 in-depth interviews with disabled rail users.
Savanta ComRes’ research demonstrated the clear desire among those surveyed to use the railways more, but also the extensive barriers to them doing so, including access at all points, cost and overcrowding. We found that the availability of assistance was a key factor in encouraging usage of the railways, but that awareness of current assistance programmes is low. Accordingly, a diverse range of channels and topics of communication will be required to increase the uptake of these services.
The report on the findings can be accessed here.