Door to Door Journeys

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - interchange/transfer, place - europe, planning - signage/information, technology - ticketing systems


connectivity, information, smart ticketing, UK, seamless journeys


If public transport is to offer a real and attractive alternative to cars, it needs to offer the same kind of door-to-door service that cars do. This is not impossible, as experience in some parts of the UK and in many other countries shows. The last government had high ambitions to make ‘integrated transport’ the norm but failed to overcome the barriers to bring this about. The new Government has inherited reviews of both rail and bus systems and this briefing argues that the Government should use these to deliver the changes needed to put passengers at the heart of our transport system and turn the promise of seamless journeys by public transport into reality. There is now plenty of evidence about what works and what makes the difference for passengers. Coupled with new information and communication technology (ICT) and reviews of rail and bus structures, we now have an unparalleled opportunity to finally get this right. The Government must seize this opportunity and work with local government and transport operators to overcome the barriers to seamless door-to-door journeys by public transport. This briefing sets out a simple plan to overcome the legal, political, governance and regulatory barriers to integrating transport. The briefing is a companion document to research commissioned by Campaign for Better Transport from TRL Ltd, supported by Abellio. TRL’s full report, published alongside this briefing, sets out in more detail the opportunities and challenges for improving door-to-door transport. What needs to improve for passengers There are four main elements that are needed to integrate transport. These are: • Giving people good information before and during their journeys • Making sure that the interchanges between different public transport services don’t act as a barrier (and that walking and cycling access and facilities are good) • Getting transport services to connect with each other • Having tickets that allow services to join up in a simple and transparent way The TRL research draws on many studies to set out what passengers’ priorities are. Information Passengers need: • Information on the level of fares, times of departure and arrival before travelling, and the ability to compare different ways of reaching the same destination • Real-time information about their journey, particularly on delays and how these will impact on onward connections • Access to more tailored information, for instance from data being opened up to independent developers to provide more meaningful information for particular groups or lead to more innovative approaches • Simple fares that are understandable and flexible so that a delay in one part of a trip doesn’t result in having to buy a new ticket if a connection is missed Interchange Passengers need: • High quality and attractive facilities to reduce concerns about having to change between services. Clear signage, maps and information are needed to help passengers continue their journey easily • Good facilities for handling or storing luggage on longer distance trips 2 • Good cycle storage/parking • Good access on foot and by bike to stops and stations, including safe routes to stations • Appropriate and sensibly priced car access/parking at stations Connections Passengers need: • Reliable and frequent services to avoid worries about long waiting times, particularly if delays mean that connections are missed • Real-time information on services (and help from staff) • Timetabling that enables connections to be made, for instance developing new timetables round a ‘transfer scheme’ to build in connections with other services Ticketing Passengers need: • Through ticketing from origin to destination without needing to get tickets for individual elements of the journey. This means tickets need to be valid on different operators and different modes of transport (as the Travelcard has done in London since the 1980s) • Smart tickets like the Oystercard to make it easier to use public transport and speed up accessing buses or trains • Simple ticketing options like zonal fares so passengers can understand what they will pay in advance – particularly if smartcards give passengers less obvious feedback on how much individual journeys cost.


Permission to link to this report has been given by Campaign for Better Transport, copyright remains with Transport Research Laboratory (TRL)