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JN: 10689 Boating Research 2013 Thames Research Findings Prepared by April 2013 Richard Moore Research Manager Mark Baldwin.

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Presentation on theme: "JN: 10689 Boating Research 2013 Thames Research Findings Prepared by April 2013 Richard Moore Research Manager Mark Baldwin."— Presentation transcript:

1 JN: 10689 Boating Research 2013 Thames Research Findings Prepared by April 2013 Richard Moore Research Manager rmoore@harrisinteractive.com Mark Baldwin Account Director mbaldwin@harrisinteractive.com

2 © Harris Interactive 2  Background, objectives and methodology  Who did we speak to?  Main findings –Craft registration charge –Facilities and enforcement activities –Manning of locks –Lock service –Communication –Overall satisfaction  Summary and conclusions Contents

3 © Harris Interactive 3 Background, objectives and methodology

4 4 © Harris Interactive  There are currently in excess of 30,000 boaters registered on the EA’s waterways  The waterways that the EA manages are currently under government review for possible transfer to the Canal and River Trust  The decision for this will not be announced until April 2014, the EA is working to ensure that their waterways have a sustainable future, regardless of who manages them moving forward  In 2013, the EA wants to understand more about the experience of boaters and what they value most about the current service provided  Findings from the research to be used to inform future allocation of spending Updated context for 2013

5 © Harris Interactive 5  The specific objectives of the research are to: 1.Gain a representative view of the service that the EA is providing amongst powered boat users 2.Measure how customer perceptions of specific services has changed since the last survey 3.Find out how satisfied customers are with services provided and what changes they would like to see 4.Find out how much registration cost influences customer experience, services and usage of the river 5.Measure specific topics of interest on each river Objectives

6 © Harris Interactive  Telephone interviews, lasting approximately 15 minutes –Had to have a powered boat currently registered with the EA to qualify –Customer list provided by the EA –Increased sample size in 2013 allowing for further robustness  Fieldwork took place between the 13 th - 27 th March 2013  The following number of interviews were achieved with Thames boaters: 6 Methodology

7 Who did we speak to? © Harris Interactive 7

8 8 Q: Which of these best describes how often you generally use your boat? Who did we speak to? How often use boat Base: All respondents; 2012 (151), 2013 (200) 20122013 Everyday - You live on it At least once a week At least once a month throughout the year At least once a month during the summer, less often or not at all in winter Less often / other

9 9 Less than 1 year Between 1-2 years Between 3-4 years Between 4-5 years More than 5 years © Harris Interactive Q: How long have you been boating on the river? Who did we speak to? Length of time boating 20122013 Base: All respondents; 2012 (151), 2013 (200)

10 10 £50 - £100 £100 - £200 £200 - £300 £300 - £500 £500 - £800 £800 - £1000 £1000 - £1500 Don't know / refused © Harris Interactive Q: How much is your annual craft registration charge? Who did we speak to? Annual craft registration charge Note: This question is new in 2013 Base: All respondents 2013 (200) 2013

11 Craft registration charge © Harris Interactive 11

12 12 © Harris Interactive Base: All respondents - see brackets Q: How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statement? ‘My craft registration charge is good value for money’ Do you...? Perceived value of craft registration fee The proportion who agree that their craft registration fee is good value for money has decreased slightly, whilst the proportion who disagree has increased significantly 2012 (151) 2013 (200) 42% 3.22.9 24% 43%49% Mean Score (Out of 5): Net agree: Net disagree: ↓ ↑ ↓ ↑ ↑  As seen further on in this report there are high levels of satisfaction with the services provided by the EA. The majority of boaters use their boats in summer months, they may not have been able to get as much personal value from their craft registration fee in 2012 due to poor weather conditions Significant increase / decrease vs. 2012 ↑↓

13 13 © Harris Interactive Note: This question is new in 2013 Base: All respondents - see brackets Q: How satisfied are you with the boat registration service in terms of speed of dealing with your registration / overall knowledge of the advisor? Satisfaction with registration service 9 in 10 satisfied with the speed of dealing with registration, whilst 6 in 10 satisfied with the overall knowledge of the advisor (a higher proportion answered don’t know to this statement) Speed of dealing with registration (200) Overall knowledge of the advisor (200) 3%4% 63%90%Net satisfied: Net dissatisfied: Mean Score (Out of 5): 4.44.2  Higher proportions potentially answered ‘don’t know’ for overall knowledge of the advisor, most probably due to having a short discussion as part of the registration process

14 14 © Harris Interactive Satisfaction with registration process Just 5% (10 respondents) were dissatisfied with some aspect of the registration process  Nine comments were left: “Because they often get it wrong. Most of the information they put out has very bad errors.” “They messed up my licence this year. I got the renewal documents in December and sent them right away, then was told I hadn't done it, and had to go through it all again, in January realised that they still hadn't done it. But it should be sorted now.” “We had to chase them up for the renewal, they never sent the notice through.” “Takes too long.” “Not up to date with the payment system.” “When they check the registration they should do it online, they were giving out tickets as they couldn't see registration even though they were registered.” “Workers are lazy, problems are not fixed quickly.” “Because they have a very bad way of calculating the registration, which penalises larger boats excessively.” “Took quite a while for my river tax.”

15 Facilities and enforcement activities © Harris Interactive 15

16 16 Moorings* Fresh water Refuse disposal Pump outs & chemical toilet disposal Toilets Showers Others None of these / Don’t know © Harris Interactive Q: Do you use any of the following onsite facilities? Facilities used Relatively high usage of all facilities with the exception of showers. Moorings, fresh water and refuse disposal used most *Note: Moorings not prompted in 2012 Base: All respondents; 2012 (151), 2013 (200) 20122013 Significant increase / decrease vs. 2012 ↑↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓

17 17 © Harris Interactive Q: I am now going to read the list of facilities offered and would like you to tell me to what extent you agree that they offer good value for money, in comparison to other businesses such as marinas and boatyards? Strongly agreeTend to agree Base Perceived value of facilities Amongst users, facilities are seen to offer good value for money compared to those offered by other businesses such as marinas and boatyards (132) (108) (100) (95) (80) (19*) Moorings Fresh water Refuse disposal Pump outs & chemical toilet disposal Toilets Showers Note: This question is new in 2013 *Caution: low base size (<30) Base: All using each facility - see brackets

18 18 Working with police to cut crime Removing non-registered boats from the waterway Enforcing against non-registered boaters Enforcing against boaters who break the speed limit Moving on boats staying too long on short-stay moorings Compliance with boat safety standards* Enforcing against owners of unauthorised unlicensed structures Speed & wash education campaigns © Harris Interactive Q: Of the following enforcement activities that the EA carries out, which three do you value the most? Most valued enforcement activities Working with police to cut crime and removing / enforcing against non-registered boaters are the most valued enforcement activities 1 st most valued 2 nd most valued 3 rd most valued 2012 *Note: Not prompted in 2012 Base: All respondents; 2012 (151), 2013 (200) 2013  A slight decrease in terms of importance of enforcing against non-registered boaters in 2013 (albeit not significantly so)

19 19 © Harris Interactive Q: Of the following enforcement activities that the EA carries out, which three do you value the least? Least valued enforcement activities No one enforcement activity mentioned by the majority showing that all are valued to varying degrees Least valued Enforcing against owners of unauthorised unlicensed structures Moving on boats staying too long on short-stay moorings Speed & wash education campaigns Working with police to cut crime Compliance with boat safety standards* Enforcing against boaters who break the speed limit Removing non-registered boats from the waterway Enforcing against non-registered boaters *Note: Not prompted in 2012 Base: All respondents; 2012 (151), 2013 (200) 20122013  18% answered ‘none of these’  6% answered ‘don’t know’  18% answered ‘none of these’  6% answered ‘don’t know’  21% answered ‘don’t know’ (none of these code added in 2013)  As seen on the previous slide, speed & wash education campaigns and enforcing against owners of unauthorised unlicensed structures tend to be the least valued

20 Manning of locks © Harris Interactive 20

21 21 Q: Thinking about the last 12 months. Do you think that the number of people manning the locks and helping you through was…? Q: Still staying on the topic of manned locks and thinking a little bit further back now to between 12 and 24 months. Was the number of people manning the locks and helping you through at that time…? © Harris Interactive 2013 (200) 2012 (151) 2013 (188) Last 12 monthsPrior 12 to 24 months Number of people manning the locks Two-thirds believe that the number of people manning the locks in the last 12 months was just right. 28% said that there was not enough people manning the locks (a decrease vs. 2012) 2012 (143) Base: All respondents - see brackets

22 22 Q: The EA provides extra staff to help at some locks during busy periods, for example to cover lock keeper lunch breaks. How important is this aspect of service to you? © Harris Interactive 2013 (200) 2012 (151) Lunch break cover 87% say that it is very / quite important to them that the EA provides cover at busy times, i.e. lockkeeper lunch breaks Base: All respondents - see brackets

23 23 Use of self service locks 9 in 10 answered ‘yes’ when asked if they are able to use self service during lock keeper lunch / tea breaks Q: Are you able to use self service during lock keeper lunch / tea breaks? Self service allows boaters to operate the lock themselves rather than waiting for lock keeper assistance. Base: All Thames boaters 2013 (200) © Harris Interactive  Amongst those answering ‘no’, 4 left a reason for why they are not able to use self service themselves “Both close to age 75, complicated procedure.” “Age and cataract.” “Nervous.” “Size of the boat.”  When compared to the previous slide, we can see that the majority say that out of hours cover is important to them but that the majority are able to operate the lock themselves if needed

24 © Harris Interactive 24 Q: Do you have any comments to add about how the locks are currently manned? Comments about how locks are manned A third had no comments with a further 17% saying that they are happy with the way locks are manned. 1 in 10 are concerned about cutbacks/losing lock keepers 20122013 None They are good/fine/well/I am happy with them Concerned about cutbacks/losing lock keepers They should be manned/manned for more hours/full time/they are understaffed The staff are friendly/helpful/do a good job Shouldn't rely on casual staff/volunteers/need professionals Other mentions 2% or less each at an overall level in 2013 Base: All respondents; 2012 (151), 2013 (200) ↓ Significant increase / decrease vs. 2012 ↑↓  Significantly fewer spontaneously mentioned that the locks should be manned for more hours / that they are understaffed

25 25 Examples of comments left about how the locks are manned from the 2013 survey “Noticed in the last 2 or 3 years the number of break downs at the locks, which indicates to me a lack of maintenance.” “I regret that they are cutting down on lock keepers.” “I live on the river, I think it's important to keep resident lock keepers.” “It would be preferable if more locks had a permanent lock keeper, because when you have a permanent one he has pride and maintains the lock.” © Harris Interactive “No problems at all with the locks and pleased with the work which has been done on them. Public step way doesn't have any car parking facilities which is a long walk from the river.” “Find it sad so much has been done by volunteers, want more investment in keepers. Along the river, on numerous occasions where trees in the river not been cleared up. Between Walton and Hamford Court, people with big poles the fishermen. Too narrow hard to navigate.” “I feel they should be manned, not so much for myself but for the holiday boaters who don't have a clue.” “I would like to see more staff. I currently feel it is understaffed. I feel we don't always get the information we need either.”

26 26 © Harris Interactive 2012 (151) 2013 (200) 2012 (151) 2013 (200) PresentationBehaviour Satisfaction with lock keeper presentation and behaviour The lock keeper staff continue to be a credit to the EA as shown by high levels of satisfaction with both lock keeper presentation and behaviour Mean Score (Out of 5): 4.74.6 96% 1% 93% 2% 4.7 Net satisfied: 93% 2% Net dissatisfied: 91% 4% Base: All respondents - see brackets Q: Thinking about the staff who man the locks. How satisfied are you with the staff on the locks in terms of presentation / behaviour. Are you...?

27 Lock service © Harris Interactive 27

28 28 © Harris Interactive Q: Overall, how satisfied are you with the service the lock staff provide at lock sites on the river. Are you...? Overall satisfaction with service provided by lock staff Almost universal levels of satisfaction with the service provided by lock staff (just 2% dissatisfied) 2013 (200) 2% Mean Score (Out of 5): 4.6 Net agree: Net disagree: 94% Note: This question is new in 2013 Base: All respondents - see brackets

29 29 © Harris Interactive Base: All respondents - see brackets Q: Overall, how satisfied are you with the look and feel of the lock sites on the river. Are you...? Overall satisfaction with the look and feel of the lock sites Extremely high levels of satisfaction with the look and feel of the lock sites 2012 (151) 2013 (200) 3% Mean Score (Out of 5): 4.64.5 Net agree: 3%Net disagree: 94%96% Significant increase / decrease vs. 2012 ↑↓ ↑

30 30 © Harris Interactive Q: Overall, how satisfied are you with the service provided by navigation officers on the rest of the river in the last 12 months. Are you...? Overall satisfaction with service provided by navigation officers Two-fifths answered ‘don’t know’ when asked about satisfaction with the navigation officers, presumably due to not previously having had contact with a navigation officer 2013 (200) 9% Mean Score (Out of 5): 3.6 Net agree: Net disagree: 36% Note: This question is new in 2013 Base: All respondents - see brackets

31 31 © Harris Interactive Safety Almost all felt safe using the lock sites and river as a whole in the last year Q: Have you felt safe using the Environment Agency’s lock sites and facilities on the river in the last year? Safety using lock sitesSafety using the river as a whole* Q: Did you feel safe using the river as a whole last year? 2012 2013 *Note: This question is new in 2013 Base: All respondents; 2012 (151), 2013 (200)

32 32 © Harris Interactive Why felt unsafe Weather conditions along with a perceived lack of maintenance mentioned by a small number  Overall, 20 (of 200 respondents, 10%) said that they felt unsafe using either the locks and facilities or river as a whole in the last year  When asked the reason for dissatisfaction:  5 mentioned weather conditions / high water levels / flooding  4 mentioned lack of maintenance / dredging / trees etc.  Elsewhere:  1 mentioned intimidating youngsters  2 mentioned poor facilities  2 mentioned insufficient manning  There were various other reasons mentioned whilst 5 said that they hadn’t used the river in the last year to any great extent and 2 said that they didn’t feel unsafe “Insufficient and unqualified manning. The general use of locks makes me feel unsafe, particularly with the inexperienced volunteers.” “Some of the paving on the paths and moorings, better and more of them. Consider flooding and proper planning providing better facilities. Abingdon, Shilingford.” “Because of tree fallings. Long poles used by fishermen.” “Just due to the currents. Not facilities.” “It really wasn't reasonable, river was running so fast it was hard to navigate.” “There is lack of maintenance in the river and the problem of falling trees is becoming a bigger threat, the river is becoming dangerous.”

33 Communication © Harris Interactive 33

34 34 © Harris Interactive Communication – sources used High usage of sources provided by the EA, the River Thames conditions website is used most with a significant increase in those using it in 2013 Q: Have you ever used any of the following sources of information provided by the EA for boating information? 20122013 River Thames conditions website Lock closures programme Boating information section on the EA's website Newsletters Publications Direct email on lock closures Cruising Guide* Notice to Mariners Customer charter NewsSplash e-newsletter* Twitter* None of these *Note: Not prompted in 2012 Base: All respondents; 2012 (151), 2013 (200) Significant increase / decrease vs. 2012 ↑↓ ↑ ↑

35 35 © Harris Interactive Communication – interest in communication methods Email has the highest levels of interest, with some favouring more traditional forms of communication in the form of newsletters and publications Q: Would you be interested in receiving communication from the Environment Agency in any of the following ways...? Email* Newsletters Publications Face to face contact Phone Phone app* Facebook Twitter None of these 20122013 *Note: Email not comparable as asked slightly differently in 2012. Phone app added in 2013 Base: All respondents; 2012 (151), 2013 (200)

36 36 © Harris Interactive Communication – most preferred method Email is by far the most preferred method of receiving communication if asked to pick just one method of communicating Q: What is your most preferred method of receiving communication from the Environment Agency? Email Post Newsletters Phone Publications Website/internet Face to face contact Text* Facebook* Twitter Users Guide Other 20122013 *Note: Text and Facebook not prompted in 2012 Base: All respondents; 2012 (151), 2013 (200) Significant increase / decrease vs. 2012 ↑↓ ↑ ↓

37 © Harris Interactive 37 Q: What information would you like including in a phone app? (prompted) Communication – mobile phone app 35/200 interested in mobile phone app concept, these individuals were prompted on a list of features that could be included. Generally high levels of interest for majority of these Base: All interested in phone app (35) Info on facilities that have broken down Red and yellow board information Lock site information including dimensions, facilities available etc Distances and times between locks Lock keepers hours of duty Bridge heights River, weather conditions Emergencies, lock closures, delays Don’t know

38 38 One Two - four Five - eight Every time there is a change on the website Don't know © Harris Interactive Q: What is the maximum number of email alerts that you would like to receive each day, during times of frequently changing river conditions? River Thames Conditions Website – email alerts Two-fifths would prefer one email alert and a quarter would prefer between two to four e-mail alerts in times of changing weather conditions *Note: This question is new in 2013 Base: All Thames conditions website users 2013 (146)  Between one and three email alerts would be a sensible number based on this feedback

39 39 © Harris Interactive Q: Since 2010, the EA has produced an annual customer charter which sets out the services provided. Are you aware of this? Customer Charter A slight increase in awareness of the customer charter with two-fifths aware in 2013 20122013 Base: All respondents; 2012 (151), 2013 (200)

40 40 NewsSplash e-newsletter 28 of 200 respondents (14%), 89% of these have found NewsSplash informative. Hence, it is worth continuing to move this initiative forward and encouraging subscription © Harris Interactive Q: Which of the following best describes how informative you found the Newsplash e-newsletter? *Note: This question is new in 2013 Base: All using the NewsSplash e-newsletter 2013 (28), Caution: low base size (<30) Very informative Somewhat informative Not very informative Not at all informative Don't know

41 41 © Harris Interactive Q: Do you know where to go to find out information on river conditions? River conditions and satisfaction with information provided Almost all (94%) know where to look for information on river conditions. 79% are satisfied with information as a whole provided by the EA Note: This question is new in 2013 Base: All respondents 2013 (200) River conditions*Overall satisfaction with information provided by the EA* Q: How satisfied are you with the information the Environment Agency provides its customers with such as maps, bridge heights etc? Are you…?

42 42 © Harris Interactive Why dissatisfied with information provided by the EA Just seven respondents said that they are dissatisfied with the information provided by the EA  Comments left by those who are dissatisfied are as follows: “They never get it right. They make too many mistakes.” “Hard to make sense of the website, good information but the website is hard to understand.” “Nothing has been received.” “Because there has been no communication from the Environment Agency.” “They didn't know much about the river at all.” “Never see anything.” “Don't really use their maps, not detailed enough.”

43 © Harris Interactive 43 Q: Do you currently belong to any river representative group, club or organisation based on the Thames? Q: Which river representative group, club or organisation based on the Thames do you belong to? Clubs and organisations A third of Thames boaters belong to a club Base: All Thames boaters; 2013 (200)Base: See table 2012 2013 Club / organisation memberClub / organisation belong to

44 44 © Harris Interactive Why not a member of any club Lack of interest / not feeling the need to be a member of a club mentioned most  Overall, 137 (of 200 respondents, 69%) are not a member of any club or organisation on the Thames  The following reasons were given when asked why not a current member of any club or organisation:  52 mentioned that they don’t want to be a member of a club / don’t feel the need / not interested  26 mentioned not had chance yet / not thought about it / not been boating long  18 mentioned that they do their own thing / don’t like clubs  8 mentioned that they don’t use their boat often enough or live too far away  There were a small number of other mentions made “Just want to enjoy the river, groups are just an administrative aspect.” “I like to go out on my own and not to be in clubs. I like the peace.” “First year of boating so I'm not really aware of any.” “Joined a forum not a club, might do.” “Used to be when I was more into boating but these days I have no interest in them.” “I'm just happy with my boating experience, I'm part of forums.”

45 45 © Harris Interactive Q: Do you feel that your views are fairly represented by the club to the Environment Agency? Representation of views and other ways to engage with customers 7 in 10 club members believe that their views are fairly represented by the club to the EA. Electronic magazine and through lock keeper are the most favoured ways of engagement Note: This question is new in 2013 Base: All respondents 2013 (200) Representation of views by club*Other ways to engage with customers* Electronic magazine Through lock keeper Post Electronic survey Electronic consultation Telephone survey Through flyer at site of facilities Focus Groups Better promotion of River User Groups E-mail/text Website (updated/better website) Magazines/papers/newsletters Face to face Other Don't know Q: How else do you think the Environment Agency should listen or engage with its customers? Note: This question is new in 2013 Base: All club members (63)

46 Overall satisfaction © Harris Interactive 46

47 47 2012 (151) © Harris Interactive Base: All respondents - see brackets Q: Overall, how satisfied are you with the service provided by the Environment Agency on the river in the last 12 months. Are you...? Overall satisfaction with service provided by the EA 8 in 10 are satisfied with the service provided by the EA in the last 12 months. It should be noted that the proportion who said that they are dissatisfied increased significantly 2013 (200) 2012 (129) 2013 (188) 11% 78% 10% Mean Score (Out of 5): 4.24.0 Net satisfied: 5%Net dissatisfied: 80%78% 6% 85% Last 12 monthsPrior 12-24 months Q: Thinking a little bit further back now to between 12 and 24 months. Overall, how satisfied were you with the service provided by the Environment Agency on the river. Were you...? ↓ ↑ Significant increase / decrease vs. 2012 ↑↓

48 48 2012 © Harris Interactive Q: How likely are you continue boating next year? Are you... Likelihood to continue boating in the next year 9 in 10 boaters are certain or very / fairly likely to continue boating in the next year 2013 Base: All respondents; 2012 (151), 2013 (200)

49 49 © Harris Interactive Why unlikely to continue boating A small number say that they are unlikely to continue boating  Overall, 11 (of 200 respondents, 6%) said that they are unlikely / will not continue boating in the next year  Reasons given were as follows: “Don't spend time on it.” “The expense and the fact that we don't use it a lot.” “Selling the boat.” “Financial reasons.” “Too expensive.” “I'm moving house.” “Because my boat is locked in a pool of water, can't get it out.” “The licence is too high.” “Because of the weather.” “Because I've not got a boat anymore.” “Poor weather.”

50 © Harris Interactive 50 Appendix

51 51 Male Female © Harris Interactive Q: Can you tell me your gender? Gender 20122013 Base: All respondents; 2012 (151), 2013 (200)

52 52 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65-74 75+ Prefer not to say © Harris Interactive Q: Which of the following age groups do you fall into? Age Base: All respondents; 2012 (151), 2013 (200)


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