The leading provider of tourism å‘smartå’ cards, The Leisure Pass Group
, revealed the results of their transport survey today, which looked at the attitudes of overseas visitorså’ towards Londonå‘s public transport system. The company sent the survey out to 20,000 previous purchasers of The London Pass, offering a five-night stay at a Hilton Hotel in London. The 2,000 respondents marked off their answers, and provided some very interesting results.
includes travel around the capital, and so the company was interested to hear about visitors’ experience of London’s public transport system. Also, the views of Londoners’ on its transport system are never far away from the news headlines, but it is rare for the views of overseas visitors to be taken into account.
The total number of visitors to London in 2002 was 28.9 million* 11.6 million of which were from overseas and with total expenditure of £7,040 million.
Of the survey, 42% of the respondents were from North America, 35% from Western Europe, with the remaining 23% from the Rest of the World. When asked whether they thought the UK’s capital was a safe place to use public transport, 98.4% answered ‘yes’. The safest mode of transport was surprisingly the underground, with 47.4%. The second safest with 29.7% was taxis, and buses, in third place with 22.9%.
When asked on their preferences with regard to buses, 85% of the respondents said that they would prefer to travel on the top deck of a double-decker bus, rather than stand on a faster single-decker bus. Despite their old age London’s Routemasters are obviously a ‘hit’ with foreign visitors to the capital.
London’s black cabs were unsurprisingly viewed as more expensive than other major cities in Europe or the US - 64% of the respondents believed that London’s black cabs are more expensive.
When asked on their views of London’s underground system, the recipients of the survey were given four options: disappointing, fun, confusing, or clean & efficient. 53.9% said that their experience of the tube, was that it was clean & efficient. 34.6% said it was ‘fun’, 8.3% thought it was ‘confusing’, and only 3.2% believed that the underground experience was ‘disappointing’.
Finally, the survey asked whether following on from the introduction of the congestion charge, they would consider hiring a car to get around the capital. Incredibly, only 18.1% of visitors said that they would still consider hiring a car to get around the city centre when visiting London.
Commenting on the results of the survey, Angus Rankine, The Leisure Pass Group’s Managing Director said: “Tourism in London is the capital’s second largest industry, therefore the views of visitors on London’s infrastructure should be taken into account. Our database of London Pass users was an excellent source, as it captured recent visitors who have spent a number of days in the capital, purely sightseeing. The results of the survey were surprising, in that they gave very positive feedback on London’s public transport system, which is in contrast with the usual views shown in the media, or amongst Londoners themselves”.