DfT has used random probability omnibus surveys run by the ONS and NatCen to measure people’s attitudes to various transport-related issues, and their experiences of different forms of transport.
Separately, the department has also used the British Social Attitudes survey (managed by NatCen) to monitor public attitudes over the long term.
Omnibus surveys are operated by a number of social research providers. They allow clients to buy space in a ‘rolling’ public survey to ask a small set of questions for a limited time period. An omnibus survey will typically feature a standard set of core questions that are of interest to all clients (covering personal and household characteristics), alongside topic-specific questions funded by individual clients. They are therefore a low-cost and flexible method of running small-scale public surveys.
Omnibus surveys use stratified sampling techniques and are usually weighted to ensure that results are representative of the population at large. Both the NatCen and ONS omnibus surveys use random probability sampling (without replacement) and are conducted ‘face-to-face’ at the respondent’s household using computer assisted personal interviewing (CAPI).
The attitudinal statistics collected using the ONS ‘Opinions’ omnibus survey are Official Statistics and are produced in line with the relevant code of practice. The department’s view is that all statistics which are not designated as National Statistics are robust and have been produced to a suitable standard.
Indeed, the ONS ‘Opinions’ survey methodology is comparable to that of other ONS surveys whose results are published as National Statistics. However, DfT reports from this survey have not been put forward for National Statistics assessment.