Railfuture will be holding its first ever webinar this Saturday. We will be focusing on just one topic - how to attract passengers back to rail.
Attracting passengers back to rail
The future of our railway is at stake. If services are to be maintained and investment to be continued, then it is essential that a significant number of train journeys are made to justify the funding that the railway receives from taxpayers.
Alarmingly, in the summer the government told people to use their car rather than public transport. This was an extreme and quite unnecessary message. Trains are a very safe form of transport. One of our rail industry speakers, Ali Chegini of the RSSB, will be explaining the research that his organisation has undertaken to assess the risks of catching COVID-19 at a station or on a train. Spoiler alert: the risk is very low! Unfortunately, not all former rail users have got this message or accept it.
Linda McCord of Transport Focus will discuss some of the research and surveys that her organisation has conducted about public attitudes to the railway since COVID-19 came along.
In a pre-recorded video for this webinar, Jaqueline Starr, Chief Operating Officer (and soon to be Chief Executive Officer) of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) will answer questions from Railfuture about what her organisation and the train operating companies will be doing to increase the number of passengers using trains, and what they will be lobbying the Department for Transport to do. Railfuture is looking for fare promotions to entice people back on board.
Former Railfuture director, and now Network Rail's Director for National Passenger & Customer Experience, Charlene Wallace, has a remit to provide a passenger-focused service at the stations NR manages and will explain what her team does.
Peter Sargant, the Head of Rail Development at the West Midlands Rail Executive, will cover the increasing scope of devolution on Britain's railway.
In this 90-minute webinar there will be presentations from the speakers, followed by a discussion between them, and then a Q&A with the attendees. Attendee involvement will be key to this webinar. There will three poll questions at the beginning, with the results influencing what the speakers focus on. Throughout the webinar attendees can type questions using the Zoom Q&A facility, and 'like' other questions to increase the chance of the question being asked. Where possible, Railfuture will try to provide answers using the Q&A facility as well.
Railfuture is grateful for the assistance from members of Transport for the South East in providing the Zoom expertise. Guest Chair, Mark Valleley, Technical Lead, TfSE.
This Zoom webinar is free to attend, but it is necessary to register in advance. Bookings close at 23:59 on Friday 2 October.
To register, and for further details including programme and speaker biographies, please visit: www.railfuture.org.uk/webinar.
This event is open to everyone - rail users, rail employees, stakeholders, politicians, media etc. Please feel free to forward on the details in this email.
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