Rail use at highest level in peacetime since 1928

Hotel News - 31/01/2011

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Travel by train in the UK has hit its highest peacetime level in nearly 85 years. So says the Association of Train Operating Companies, or Atoc.

The number of rail journeys taken in Britain hit 1.3 billion in 2010. That figure has not been seen since 1928.

According to Atoc, that number results from a combination of good services, keen pricing and the increasing cost of driving. However, the percentage of Britons using the railways remains lower than in the years before World War II.

Since the previous peak of 1.3 billion seen in 1928, the annual number of train journeys in England, Scotland and Wales receded steadily. It hit a recent low in the early 1980s.

The proportion of Britons using trains has also dropped. At the same time, the available amount of usable track has fallen by more than 50 per cent.

Passenger Focus, a rail users’ group, said rail companies must lower their costs in order to stop train fares becoming too expensive for many travellers. Fares rose this year by an average of 6.2 per cent.

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