What, no survey?

passengers arriving at Fishguard and Goodwick

ignore these travellers?

Wednesday June 4th, and the 18:46 arrives at Fishguard and Goodwick. Getting off the train, one cyclist, two dogs, and numerous passengers, most from Cardiff or further afield. But there is no surveyor and no survey. Why not?

We are in the middle  of the Welsh Government review of the three-year Fishguard rail experiment. Rail users and non-users in the community are being surveyed, and passengers on every train are supposedly being handed questionnaires to complete. But while ferry passengers (who are completely unaffected by the additional trains, and who would not notice if the Welsh Government cut funding in September) are evidently being questioned on the boat trains, yet a full evening trainload of local passengers is ignored.

This is not the first train in the survey period to be excluded from the survey. Several people arriving at Fishguard and Goodwick in recent days have reported to Fishguard Trains that there were no questionnaires on the train. This evening we saw for ourselves.

So the question is, why are Irish ferry passengers being surveyed about a service that does not affect them, while local Fishguard travellers are being ignored? Can we have confidence in the outcome of the review if this is the way it is being conducted?

Who would like to shed light on this?

5 Comments

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5 Responses to What, no survey?

  1. Swansea Jack

    The boat trains are most certainly not only used by ferry passengers! As noted elsewhere on this site, over 40 passengers de-trained at Goodwick off the incoming lunchtime boat train on 25th May, passengers who were either local or visiting the area, and not heading for the Irish ferry. The survey is important to them as although they might have been using the boat train in 1 direction they may well have been using other services at other times or for the return journey. Users have numerous ways to complete the survey – online on the PCC website, hard copy dropped in local drop-off points as well as on-train surveys, the latter of which are particularly useful for gathering the views of visitors to the area, although of course suitable for locals on the trains too.

    I will say that my experience is that the surveyors have been on the other trains too, also they are likely to head to the Harbour station, so that observers on Goodwick station may well not be aware of their presence.

    i’d advise anyone who has yet to complete a survey form to do so, the views expressed are certainly of importance and will feed into the forthcoming report. Now is the time to tell the powers that be just how useful our additional trains are, while also giving us the opportunity to suggest improvements like more Sunday trains, a ticket machine at Goodwick (or the Harbour station) or a mid-afternoon service, or any other suggestions that would increase the usefulness of the service.

    The Cambrian and Heart of Wales line user groups successfully pressed for improved services using surveys and subsequent reports to the Welsh Government Minister earlier this year, we can do the same to ensure the continuation of the additional trains which Sam Joanne and others like the NPTF helped bring to the area 3 years ago.

    • Spad

      “On the return trip from the Harbour the same happened [i.e. all passengers offered a survey] – with it being blatantly obvious that most passengers had just arrived on the ferry from Ireland.” … not our words but yours, Swansea Jack, in your post to this site on June 4th.

      Now we have no problem with ferry passengers being asked their opinions about a rail service provided IN ADDITION to the established boat train service, trains that do not serve ferry times. What does concern us here at Fishguard Trains is the apparently patchy survey coverage of the additional trains to Fishguard over the review period. And what is our evidence for that?

      Saturday May 24, 18:46: passenger arriving at Fishguard and Goodwick from Cardiff, asked by us on arrival if he was surveyed – no surveys seen on train.
      Tuesday May 27, 18:46: two passengers with bikes, arriving at Fishguard and Goodwick from London via Swansea, asked by us on arrival whether surveyed – no surveys seen on train.
      Wednesday June 4, 18:46: Fishguard Trains reporter travels from Cardiff Central (dep 16:04) to Fishguard and Goodwick – no surveys seen on train. He took the picture for this post on arrival at Fishguard and Goodwick.

      So the simple question remains: are all our trial service trains being surveyed or not? An answer would be helpful.

  2. Swansea Jack

    “On the return trip from the Harbour the same happened [i.e. all passengers offered a survey] – with it being blatantly obvious that most passengers had just arrived on the ferry from Ireland.” … not our words but yours, Swansea Jack, in your post to this site on June 4th.

    From the Harbour – yes they were mainly from the ferry – this was in reply to Rhydgaled who claimed only regular local users were offered survey forms which was not the case. Local passengers and those visiting North Pembrokeshire who boarded at Goodwick were also offered survey forms – and there were quite a few of those too. I cannot comment for the days and trains you highlight as I wasn’t on those particular services, but I have witnessed surveys taking place on morning and evening services on other dates.

    • My comment was based on a journey on the 18:46 arrival at Goodwick, so there are definately surveys carried out on that service sometimes. My table was definately offered a survey in such a way that it did not seem relevant to us. I think we were asked something along the lines of “do you use the train regularly” and when we said no the survey woman moved on. From Swansea Jack’s comments, it seems that the serveyor ignoring occasional travelers was a one-off.

      I wonder whether PCC have the funding/staff to ensure every service is covered every day during the survey period. Perhaps they do morning services some days, the boat train on others and the evening trips on others?

  3. The NPTF newsletter reports that the survey of the trial services was concluded on 18th June 2014, and that over 1,000 responses were received.

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