Living in Lancashire wave 25

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Purpose This wave of the Living in Lancashire panel looked at levels of usage of public transport and car sharing, peoples' reasons behind this and preferences for how transport information is provided. This wave also looked at the awareness of Trading Standards and looked at the trading standards problems people have experienced and how they dealt with them.
Subject Trading standards
Public transport
Commissioned by Corporate Research and Intelligence Team, Policy Unit
Geographic area All of Lancashire
Method Questionnaire - postal
Consultation with Life in Lancashire panel
Date 03/06/2009 - 10/07/2009
Undertaken by Corporate Research and Intelligence Team, Policy Unit


Number in sample 3031
Number of responses 2430
Response rate 80%
Key findings The most regularly used methods of travelling around were cars and walking. Out of the public transport options listed, the bus was used five times more frequently than the train. There are difficulties in encouraging rural communities and more economically prosperous people onto public transport as they tend to use cars more frequently.

The most common replies about what prevents people from using public transport more was the length of time needed to make the trip, the high cost and the infrequency of travel. Respondents from a BME background were more likely to say that unreliability, a lack of information and difficulty using timetables prevented them using public transport more.

Printed and online information were the most used sources of transport information. These are also the preferred methods, though online information was most preferred. Realtime information is also more preferred than it is currently used. Printed information is used and preferred more by older people, whereas online information is both used and preferred more by the younger age groups and the higher socio-economic groups.

Most people don't share a car, though more people do as a driver than as a passenger at the moment. The main reason given for not car sharing in the future was that it wasn't convenient for them, another common reason was a lack of knowledge about who to car share with, which presents an opportunity because this is something that the county council can influence through the car sharing website.

Areas of work that people were most aware of are fair trading, protecting children and young people and preventing illegal trading practices. One in eight respondents weren't sure what Trading Standards does, more so among younger respondents and people from a BME background.

People preferred information to be sent to them in written communications like leaflets and local newspapers. Very few people didn't want information on trading standards. Preference for the internet was higher among the highest socio-economic groups and among younger respondents.

Those people having a problem, a third go unreported. When they were reported, respondents mostly contacted Trading Standards or sorted it directly with the trader. The majority of problems do get resolved however, a quarter of problems remain unresolved.

Respondents' priorities for Trading Standards over the next three years are to protect older and vulnerable people and children and young people, and to prevent illegal trading practices.

More people would contact Trading Standards about a consumer rights or trading standards problem than would have a few years ago. We will continue to raise awareness of Trading Standards to reduce the number of people who don't contact anyone.

We are currently reviewing how we promote our services and here are some of the things we're doing:

* Publishing a leaflet to alert people about current issues and how we are tackling them.
* Issuing over 30 press releases a year to raise awareness of current trading malpractice.
* Direct leafleting to areas being targeted by doorstep criminals.
* Using a touring theatre group to raise awareness of doorstep crime.
* Keeping our website updated with a wealth of information for consumers and businesses.
* Talks targeted at groups and schools.

Priorities from the research for Trading Standards are being used to shape our business plan and to target our limited resources where they can have the greatest impact. Some of the activities we're planning, or have started to deliver, are:

1) Protecting older and vulnerable people
* Doorstep crime rapid response team
* No Cold Calling Zone roll out
* Safe Trader scheme to help people identify reliable trades-people

2) Protecting children and young people
* Two new jobs have been created to tackle alcohol issues
* Running test purchasing for the sale of alcohol and tobacco to underage children
* New websites for Look Out Tobacco ( and Look Out Alcohol (
* Work with further education colleges and schools on tobacco and alcohol
* Healthy eating initiative in schools

3) Preventing illegal trading practices
* One new job has been created to tackle illegal money lending
* Loan shark investigation team
* Tackling e-trade in counterfeit goods
* Market Charter to tackle counterfeit sales at markets


The research has been used for planning how the county council will provide this transport information in the coming years and what channels will be used. It has already been used to monitor our progress over time and look forward to areas of future development for transport information and promotion.

Attention has been focused in promoting areas that resulted in higher satisfaction levels among respondents, and looking at how we can provide tailored information based on the needs of residents in each of the twelve districts in Lancashire.

The main areas that we will be working on include:

* continued production of printed leaflets and maps;
* increasing the number of bus stop displays;
* expansion in the number of bus stops displaying "real time" information across the county in the future;
* increasing awareness of the Traveline telephone based transport information service; and
* improving awareness of car sharing opportunities through the website.

We will also be looking at new ways to promote sustainable transport information in our plans for future months and years.

Project document(s)



Marked up questionnaire(s)

Contact information

For more information about this research contact:

Melissa Sherliker
01772 535019


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