2. Survey Methodology
2. Survey Methodology
2.1 This section sets out our methodology for undertaking the research which involved a telephone survey, supplemented by focus groups.
2.2 We sought to undertake a telephone survey of 3,000 NEC holders from across Scotland. The National Entitlement Card office holds a comprehensive database of all NEC holders. Based upon the overall profile of NEC holders by card type and local authority, a representative, proportionate sample was drawn of 9,000 card holders. This was drawn from a database of those who had provided consent to data sharing for research purposes and who had supplied a telephone number to their Local Authority at the point of application.
2.3 An advance notification letter was sent to all 9,000 sampled NEC holders, explaining how their contact details had been obtained, reasons for undertaking the survey, and the main topics that would be covered in the survey. It also provided contact details for Transport Scotland - so that individuals could validate the survey, and also contact details for Research Resource - so that individuals could let us know about any specific communication needs for the interview process, and could request a specific interview time. The letter was sent on Transport Scotland letterhead, under an appropriate signatory.
2.4 Interviewing took place between the 28th of January 2013 and the 15th April 2013 with a total of 3,127 interviews completed with NEC holders. This provides data accurate to plus or minus 1.8% at the overall level (based upon a 50% estimate at the 95% confidence level).
2.5 The telephone survey questionnaire (Appendix 1) was designed in order to find out how card holders use their Concessionary Travel Card and covered:
- The application process and administration of the scheme;
- Using the card;
- How and why the card is used; and
- Benefits of the scheme.
2.6 All interviews were carried out by Research Resource's fully trained and experienced interviewers. Interviews were carried out in line with Research Resource's ISO20252 accredited policies and procedures and in line with the Market Research Society Code of Conduct and the Data Protection Act.
2.7 Table 2.1 shows the profile of telephone respondents, which is proportionally representative of the Card holder population.
2.8 The chart below summarises the profile of research respondents by card type. In line with card holder characteristics overall, 85% of our sample held a 60+ concessionary travel card, 5% had a disabled concessionary travel card, 9% had a disabled plus companion concessionary travel card, 1% had a visually impaired plus companion concessionary travel card and less than 1% had a visually impaired concessionary travel card.
2.9 Of note, the age profile of card holders differs depending on the type of card held. Clearly, all 60+ card holders are over 60 years of age. Of those, 81% were aged 65+ and 19% aged between 60 and 64. For disabled or visually impaired card holders, the majority were under 60 years of age (55%), 16% aged between 60 and 64 and the remaining 29% aged 65+.
2.10 The study involved eight focus groups with NEC holders across Scotland. The aim of the focus groups was to explore views of the National Entitlement Card scheme in depth, to supplement the telephone survey in terms of:
- current use of the NEC;
- views on the administration and management of the NEC;
- misuse of NECs;
- value of the NEC; and
- overall satisfaction with the National Entitlement Card scheme.
2.11 In total, 66 people participated in the focus groups, with an average of eight participants at each group.
2.12 In designing the focus groups, we considered two main factors - type of card and the group location. The research specification gave clear parameters for the study. It was to include eight groups in total. It was to include, as far as possible, a mix of card holders; so those who had a card because of their age (a 60+ card) and those who had a card because of a disability (a disabled concessionary card, or a visually impaired concessionary card). We included different types of disability in the research, for example, people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, blind or visual impairments and people who are deaf.
2.13 The groups took place in a mix of locations to give geographic diversity. The eight focus groups took place in seven different local authority areas4. Two groups took place with re-contacts from the telephone survey who had agreed to participate in a group, while six discussion groups took place with people who had not been surveyed, but who were members of existing organisations or groups. The location of the two groups with survey re-contacts was determined by those who agreed to participate, while suitable organisations and groups were sought in the other local authority areas.
2.14 Although qualitative research does not aim to be representative, it was important to ensure that a range of people with different experiences and backgrounds were included in the study, in addition to residential location, age and disability. The final profile of focus group characteristics was as follows:
2.15 Some of the disabled participants had a 'companion card' which allowed them to travel with someone who could support them to travel. Of the 66 participants in the focus groups, 29 had a companion card (44%).
2.16 This report details the findings of the survey for the cardholder population as a whole overall and includes, where appropriate and statistically significant, analysis of results by:
- Card type (responses from 60+ card holders were analysed in isolation and Disabled, Visual Impairment and Companion card holder responses were analysed collectively due to the small numbers involved);
- Regional Transport Partnership area; and
- demographic characteristics.
This is supported by key findings from the focus group research.
2.17 When reporting the data in this document, in general, percentages in tables have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Columns may not add to 100% because of rounding or where multiple responses to a question are possible. The total number of respondents to each question is shown either as 'Base' or 'n=xxx' in the tables or charts. Where the base or 'n' is less than the total number of respondents, this is because respondents may be 'routed' past some questions if they were not applicable.