The purpose of this survey was to provide some insight into the views and attitudes of the general public towards the Department. The survey was carried out by TNS-MRBI and is one of three phases of customer research. The other two phases related to finding out the views of the Department's business customers and the opinions of the customers of the Department's driver testing service.
The document gives detailed survey results and is presented in both Word and pdf formats.
It is clear that at a spontaneous level the general public associate the Department with tangible areas which affect their daily lives - road safety, CIE, trains, buses, roads and public transport in general. When prompted with areas of responsibility, the public still have the highest levels of association with road safety and CIE. However, other areas of responsibility are also more widely associated with the Department.
When prompted those surveyed mentioned regulation of the taxi industry (66%), driver testing service (62%), administration of the penalty points system (58%), motor taxation (54%) and management of Irish Airports (47%) etc. - even though some do not fall under the remit of the Department.
CIE, Iarnród Éireann and Bus Éireann are the top three state agencies/companies for which the public feels the Department of Transport is responsible. Higher awareness exists amongst more upmarket individuals, who are also more likely to mention other agencies/ companies such as Dublin Bus, Aer Rianta and Aer Lingus. However, the relativity of the associations is fairly similar across the various socio economic classes.
It appears that only 14% of the general public have ever contacted the Department of Transport. These individuals tend to be more female, and those aged under 35 years. Telephone, followed by personal visit are the most popular methods of contact.
Just less than two thirds of those contacting the Department claimed to be satisfied with the service they received a good score, generated by the perceived politeness of staff, prompt replies and ability to harness information required. Areas for improvement centre on; being sent from person to person and the time taken to revert regarding a problem.
The perceived broad area of responsibility of the Department of Transport is highlighted when individuals are asked to prioritise areas for improvement. The public tends to focus on general issues such as; improve condition of roads, develop rail network, bus service , better public transport etc.
These findings suggest that it is necessary to promote a clearer understanding amongst the general public in relation to the actual areas of responsibility of the Department and the importance of its policy making function which may be less apparent to the public on a day-today basis. This awareness raising activity could perhaps be undertaken in conjunction with other Government Bodies.