The European Commission has just published a survey into attitudes of long and medium distance train passengers in different countries – and the results show that HS2’s emphasis on speed is the wrong focus.
British train travellers are amongst the most satisfied in Europe about the time their journeys are scheduled to take: 92% are “satisfied” with the scheduled times of the trains, ranking second in the survey.
As the report says
Respondents in the UK were not only among the most likely to be satisfied with train frequencies, they were also among the most likely to be very or rather satisfied with the length of time rail journeys were scheduled to take (92%); a similar level of satisfaction was measured in Portugal (93%). However, while 45% of respondents in the UK reported being very satisfied with the travelling speed of trains in their country, this figure was just 19% in Portugal. Other countries with a high proportion of “very satisfied” passengers were Ireland (52%) and Lithuania (42%).
So whatever you think about the British railway system, almost every long and middle distance passenger is happy with how fast their train goes.
So why is HS2 Ltd insisting on designing an expensive railway with trains that can travel at 400Kph, when speed is not the issue for the travelling public?
PS Rail.co have an analysis of some of the other questions on the survey