Accent MR Accent

Analysing the relative importance of saving time for travellers


The Department for Transport wanted to determine consumer values of travel time savings and reliability – key policy tools for transport planners throughout the industry. The brief was for a very large and wide-ranging study which – in addition to car, rail, bus and other public transport modes – would also cover walking and cycling.


In partnership with Arup and ITS Leeds, we designed a three phase programme: two stages of qualitative research followed by a substantial quantitative survey. The first phase of qualitative research was exploratory in nature – using a combination of focus groups and depth interviews we probed how different options could be presented to respondents. Various options were then evaluated in the second phase – using cognitive interviews and pilots, we tested terminology and language to ensure that comprehension would be optimised in the quantitative phase of the project. Phase 3 was the Stated Preference element of the project, a mixed methodology survey involving 11,000 interviews over an eight week period.


The output comprised a series of updated value of time measures for the different modes of travel. Our findings also concentrated on looking at segmented differences in the output. The insights from this research are used to underpin important policy and investment decisions.