Abbey Line Monitoring
Client: Hertfordshire County Council, 2006 - 2013
The Abbey Line, between Watford Junction and St Albans Abbey is a Community Rail Partnership (CRP) line, where London Midland (the train operator), local councils and rail user groups work together to improve patronage, awareness of and services on the line. The Railway Consultancy supported the CRP for a seven-year period, undertaking a range of counts and surveys, which have provided information about the market for rail travel on the line, and its growth in recent years. 15 surveys at six-monthly intervals produced a deep understanding over time of the trips made on the line. Although passengers' journey purposes and trip frequencies changed little over the period, we also specifically investigated changes in access/egress modes, the take-up of new carnet tickets, and the impact of Oyster cards (valid to Watford Junction, but not on the branch itself).
However, in line with the rest of the network, much more change has taken place in terms of the scale of demand on the line. Exceeding even the general traffic increase on the railway, demand rose overall during the period of our monitoring (no doubt reflecting, at least in part, the activities of both the CRP officer, and the local users’ group) although the impacts of the West Coast Main Line upgrade works, and the economic recession were both noticeable. Whilst specific (e.g. sporting) events can impact on weekend traffic a great deal, the general growth probably does reflect generic trends in transport demand, especially since a lack of West Coast main line engineering work is gradually providing a better service on Sundays, for ‘weekend-away’ leisure trips.
Last updated: Sunday, 18th December 2016
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