Rail PRO to combat public dismay

The Strategic Rail Authority is bolstering attempts to restore

faith in the rail network with the creation of its first media director


The announcement comes as the full extent of the public's lack of

confidence in rail was underlined by the results of an exclusive NOP

survey for PRWeek.

Seventy-seven per cent of people said more needed to be done to convince

them the Government was building a world-class rail network.

And this lack of conviction is felt across all sections of society, with

between 75 and 80 per cent of those polled registering their dismay at

the Government's rail policy.

One of the SRA media director's main tasks will be to publicise its

ten-year blueprint for the railway, unveiled this week.

The £67.5bn package of measures includes the replacement of

slamming door trains and upgraded East and West Coast mainlines.

Commuters travelling to London are expected to benefit most from the

plans, as 70 per cent of all train journeys start and end in the


The NOP survey also asked whether the public was more or less likely to

use trains for non-work related journeys than they were three years


The result, that 41 per cent were less likely to use the train, shows

that the non-commuting public cannot be ignored.

PR at the SRA is currently headed by director of external affairs Chris

Austin who is to become corporate affairs director.

- Charlie Whelan, p8.

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