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Revealing the results of our South Western Franchise Ticketless Travel Survey

12 September 2016

Steer Davies Gleave is a market leader in undertaking independent fare evasion surveys for rail operators and authorities and our methodology represents an industry standard. Our fare evasion survey of the South Western Franchise recently gained national press coverage as it revealed one in 30 rail passengers could be travelling without a valid ticket.

As part of our role as technical advisors to the Department for Transport in the re-letting of the South Western Franchise, we carried out a ticketless travel survey on the South West Trains network with a sample of circa 24,000 passengers, with the aim of estimating the level of travel without valid tickets across the network, and the resulting revenue lost to the franchise.

Our research revealed the overall estimated proportion of passengers travelling in the services without a valid ticket was 3.2% which results in the franchise losing an estimated £25 million in revenue each year

Waterloo station ticket machines

We found that ticketless travel was most prevalent after 7pm on weekdays, with an average rate of 5.1%. But due to passenger volumes the most costly time period in terms of lost revenue was the evening peak at £7.7 million, which had a ticketless rate of 3.6%. The lowest rates were observed on Saturdays (2.4%) and in the AM peak and inter-peak periods (2.6% and 2.7% respectively). The research also highlights how in general, longer-distance and non-London service segments had lower ticketless travel than those dominated by short-distance journeys to and from the capital.

The full report can be accessed here.

Tags: Rail
Region: UK & Ireland

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