A year on from the biggest ever rail fares consultation, and many passengers are still grappling with an out-of-date fares system that doesn’t meet their needs. Consumers argue that the government should prioritise fare reform and enable this as soon as possible.

According to an independent survey by Populus, commissioned by the Rail Delivery Group, eight in 10 (81%) passengers think updates to the fares system should be prioritised by the independently chaired Williams Review.

The results come exactly one year since the rail industry and Transport Focus started the biggest ever public consultation into how the fares system could be reformed to make it easier to use. The consultation ran for three months and received almost 20,000 responses across Britain, including input from over 60 umbrella organisations representing over 300,000 other organisations, authorities and individuals.

Time for change

The latest poll shows that passengers want to see change delivered quickly, with almost eight in 10 (77%) saying it is important that the government works with rail industry to enable change within the next three to five years. The survey found that 79% of commuters and 80% of people who take the train for business also supported this proposed time frame.

Populus also found that among rail users:

View the full data table here.


Populus conducted an online sample of 2,016 GB adults 18+ between 24 May and 27 May 2019. A sample of 1,147 people use the train. Excluding those who responded ‘don’t know’. Data is weighted to be representative of the population of Great Britain. Targets for quotas and weights are taken from the National Readership Survey, a random probability F2F survey conducted annually with 34,000 adults. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For further information see http://www.britishpollingcouncil.org/