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Transport links more important than good schools for house-hunters

Exterion Media - Goodluck Hope Advertising OOH Campaign

Good transport links are more important than good schools and job prospects for those moving house in the next five years, according to new research from Exterion Media. The research by its award-winning national consumer panel work.shop.play., reveals how urbanites – those living in cities - feel about transport around the UK. 

When it comes to choosing a place to live, 60 per cent of Brits say transport links are the most important factor to consider, ranking above being closer to friends and family (28 per cent) and good schools (17 per cent). Even for those with children in the household, transport (55%) is still ranked higher than schools (41%). However, it is not just the means of getting people from A to B that appeals, living in a city with good transport links opens up a wealth of opportunities for UK residents, such as the ability to explore new places, access to a better quality of life and new job prospects. 

The study also revealed that rail stations are highly regarded in local communities as they are increasingly becoming hubs for retail and entertainment, rather than just a place to board a train. Nearly a third (31 per cent) of rail users say they like to visit their local rail station to shop, even when they’re not travelling, and 43 per cent see it as a source for local information, saying they would be interested in a free app that sent them promotions for nearby cafes, bars and restaurants. Frequent rail users are actually more satisfied with their local rail station than those who tend to travel less, and are more interested in amenities such as toilets on the platform (69 per cent) and more cash machines (55 per cent), rather than big redevelopments. 

When it comes to the physical journey, the research found that people who regularly use local transport links are engaged with the station environment, and like to see a mixture of adverts along their journey. Over half (66 per cent) of rail users say they don’t feel their station is too cluttered with advertising, and 41 per cent say they notice when a new advert appears on their regular route, suggesting that frequent rail users see advertising as a welcome distraction on their journey.

As well as being engaged physically, the research found that being connected via technology is essential for the modern ‘always on’ UK traveller, with 70 per cent saying it is important to have Wi-Fi at railway stations. Further to this, nearly half (41 per cent) of rail users say they would like to be able to use their smartphones to collect content from posters at rail stations, further suggesting that Brits see rail stations as much more than a travel hub.

Jason Cotterrell, Group Development Director at Exterion Media, says: “With the recent price hikes on ticket fares, we wanted to get to the heart of what people really want from their journey experience. Our research shows that these are people with active social lives, who want to shop, connect and dine out, and see stations as a hub for this activity - transport operators are recognising this. The developments at London Bridge are a great example of putting it in to practice; the station is set to become an extension of Borough Market, increasing its appeal as a place to go after work, which shows the huge potential for rail stations to bring in retail and commercial opportunities.”