Led by CIHT South West's Exeter Emerging Professionals Group, this webinar will look at the recent and substantial Covid-induced decline in rail travel in the UK. It will also consider the factors which prevent trips being made by rail, and discuss how these barriers might be overcome.
Speakers include Dr Simon Blainey, University of Southampton and Katja Frisinger, Great Western Railway.
Rail is probably the most environmentally sustainable mode of travel for longer-distance trips, but since the advent of mass motorisation it has struggled to gain significant levels of market share. The industry has also historically struggled to increase diversity among its workforce, particularly in relation to gender, sexuality and ethnicity.
This presents a major challenge for achieving a sustainable and inclusive transport future, given the many problems associated with private car use (even if such cars are ‘sustainably’ fueled). In the wake of a recent and substantial Covid-induced decline in rail travel in the UK, this webinar will consider the factors which prevent trips being made by rail, and discuss how these barriers might be overcome.
Dr Simon Blainey, University of Southampton, will revisit research he led for the rail industry on Barriers to Rail Use a decade ago in the light of the changes in travel behaviour associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. The original research identified 37 distinct barriers, ranging from travel time to the characteristics of other passengers. This webinar will assess the extent to which these barriers still apply, whether their relative importance has changed, and whether any additional barriers now exist. It will discuss the need to address multiple barriers in order to overcome a threshold of acceptability for rail travel in a given context, and will consider which barriers should be prioritised for action in any efforts to increase rail use in a given context.
Katja Frisinger, Great Western Railway, will be speaking about their experiences of getting into the rail industry as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. They will also discuss some of their work on increasing inclusion and diversity in the industry, and their ideas for getting more people from diverse backgrounds using rail.
Simon is an Associate Professor at the University's Transportation Research Group (TRG), with particular expertise in rail transport but with experience of work relating to all transport modes. From an early age, Simon has had a keen interest in all facets of transportation systems and their relationships with wider society and the physical environment. Transport plays a crucial role in enabling and creating the complex linkages which allow our society to function, but also poses a threat to the continued existence of that society through the demands it makes on natural and human resources and the damage it causes to the environment. Through his work at TRG, Simon aims to make a contribution to the development of a transport network which is more sustainable, more efficient, and less costly to users, government and the environment.
Katja is a Conductor at Great Western Railway (GWR) based in Exeter, who is passionate about Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion within the railway. Katja sits as Co-Chair of Aspect, GWR’s LGBTQ+ Network, and works alongside the wider Inclusion Action Board to promote change within the company. They are also a GWR Equalities Representative and LGBT+ Advisory Committee Member for The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), as well as an Equalities Officer on the committee for RMT’s Exeter Rail branch. They are always happy to talk about the intricacies of train services, and how to get more people using them.