Concessionary Travel - Customer Feedback Research Year Two Report


3.1 This section sets out our methodology for undertaking the research which involved a telephone survey, supplemented by qualitative research.

Telephone Survey

3.2 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. These cardholders 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.

3.3 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 (for survey validation) and also contact details for Research Resource (to arrange specific interview times or notify of specific communication needs). The letter was sent on Transport Scotland letterhead, under an appropriate signatory.

3.4 Interviewing took place between the 27th of January 2013 and the 14th April 2014 with a total of 3,088 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).

3.5 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;
  • Using the card;
  • How and why the card is used; and
  • Benefits of the scheme.

3.6 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.

3.7 Table 2.1 shows the profile of telephone respondents, which is proportionally representative of the Card holder population.

Table 3.1: Local authority and cardholder type response profile
Interview profile by card type - Year 2 Survey
Total Elderly Disabled Companion Disabled Visual Companion Visually Disabled
Aberdeen City 69 66 3 - - -
Aberdeenshire 178 168 5 4 1 -
Angus 87 82 3 2 - -
Argyll & Bute 69 62 3 3 1 -
Clackmannanshire 40 36 2 2 - -
Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar 18 18 - - - -
Dumfries & Galloway 104 95 4 4 1 -
Dundee City 117 102 10 3 1 1
East Ayrshire 73 63 6 3 1 -
East Dunbartonshire 69 66 3 - - -
East Lothian 75 68 4 1 2 -
East Renfrewshire 50 46 3 1 - -
Edinburgh 273 242 18 10 2 1
Falkirk 128 112 7 8 1 -
Fife 130 106 12 9 2 1
Glasgow City 243 199 25 14 3 2
Highland 145 132 8 4 1 -
Inverclyde 47 40 5 2 - -
Midlothian 56 50 4 2 - -
Moray 61 56 3 2 - -
North Ayrshire 90 79 7 3 1 -
North Lanarkshire 167 139 18 9 1 -
Orkney Islands 19 15 2 2 - -
Perth & Kinross 107 97 6 3 - 1
Renfrewshire 100 86 9 3 2 -
Scottish Borders 75 71 2 2 - -
Shetland Islands 18 17 1 - - -
South Ayrshire 82 74 5 1 2 -
South Lanarkshire 176 154 13 5 3 1
Stirling 72 64 4 3 1 -
West Dunbartonshire 55 44 7 3 1 -
West Lothian 95 83 8 4 - -
Total 3088 2732 210 112 27 7

3.8 The chart below summarises the profile of research respondents by card type. In line with card holder characteristics overall, 89% of our sample held a 60+ concessionary travel card, 4% had a disabled concessionary travel card, 7% 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.

Figure 3.2: Type of card held by respondents

Figure 3.2: Type of card held by respondents

Base: All respondents, n=3088

3.9 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, 80% were aged 65+ and 19% aged between 60 and 64 (1% refused to specify their age). For disabled or visually impaired card holders, the majority were under 60 years of age (57%), 14% aged between 60 and 64 and the remaining 26% aged 65+ (2% refused to specify their age).

Focus groups

3.10 The study involved qualitative research with users of the scheme across Scotland through a combination of focus group discussions and in-depth telephone interviews. The research covered:

  • 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 NEC.

3.11 This year 67 people participated in this study (62 participants at seven focus groups and five telephone interviews). We intended to engage between six and ten people in a focus group, and achieved an average of nine participants at each group.

3.12 In designing the focus groups, we firstly considered two main factors - type of card and the group location. The research specification gave clear parameters for the study. It was to include, as far as possible, a variety of card holders; so those who have a card because of their age (a 60+ card) and those who have a card because of a disability (a disabled concessionary card, or a visually impaired concessionary card). Different types of disability were included in the research, for example, people with physical disabilities, and those who are blind or with visual impairments.

3.13 The groups and interviews covered a range of locations to give geographic diversity. The qualitative research covered seven different local authority areas[5].

3.14 Six of the seven discussion groups took place with people who were members of existing organisations or groups. The groups consisted of a project for young people with a physical disability, two organisations supporting older people, a school for children with additional support needs, an organisation for people with mental health issues and a national charity working with blind and visually impaired people. The seventh group took place with re-contacts from the telephone survey who had agreed to participate in a group.

3.15 The location of the group 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.

3.16 This year we were keen to include people with a 'Companion Card', which allows people to travel with someone who can support them to travel. A discussion group was planned to take place with Companion Card holders who had taken part in the survey. However, there were not enough re-contacts from the survey with a Companion Card in any one local authority area to make this possible. Therefore, five people who had taken part in the survey and agreed to a focus group were invited to take part in a telephone interview.

3.17 In the course of conducting our discussions with participants from existing groups, we found that some participants were companion card holders. Of the 67 participants taking part in the research, 36 had a Companion Card (54%) demonstrating a ten percent increase in the number of Companion Card holders who participated in year one of this research (29 participants in year one (44%) held a Companion Card).

3.18 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:

Table 3.3: Location and characteristics of focus groups
Local Authority Special features Source No. of participants
Focus groups
Clackmannanshire 60+ card holders Existing organisation 12
Dundee 60+ card holders Re-contacts from survey 8
East Renfrewshire Parents of disabled children Existing organisation 8
Edinburgh Blind and visually impaired people Existing organisation 10
Edinburgh Young disabled people Existing organisation 5
Moray 60+ card holders Existing organisation 9
South Ayrshire People with mental health issues Existing organisation 10
Companion Card interviews
Glasgow Companion Card Re-contact from survey 3
Clackmannanshire Companion Card Re-contact from survey 1
Edinburgh Companion Card Re-contact from survey 1

Analysis and Reporting

3.19 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.

3.20 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.