Fares, rail policy and DfT news

18.06.19

Record number of passenger journeys as UK rail revenue rises to four-year high

Record figures of rail passenger journeys have been recorded in England, Scotland and Wales, according to the most recent quarterly report by the Office of Rail and Road.

A total of 1.76bn journeys were completed on Britain’s rail network during the 2018-19 calendar. This was a 3.0% rise compared to the previous year, driven by a 3.9% increase in the London and South East sector.

READ MORE: ORR: Punctuality and reliability of rail services improves in Q2

As a result of the increased passenger journeys the total passenger revenue reached £10.3bn for 2018-19, the highest annual revenue growth since 2014-15.

Again, an increase in the London and South East sector was the major contributing factor to this annual revenue growth. The sector contributes to half of the total UK passenger revenue, and saw a 7.0% increase as it reached a record high of £5.1bn in 2018-19.

READ MORE: Out with the old: London Underground's track renewal works

Passenger kilometres also increased during 2018-19, from 65.6bn to 67.7bn kilometres - equivalent to flying to the moon and back almost 88,000 times.

This was the highest rate of growth since 2015-16 in this statistic. TfL Rail was the largest growing operator in this area (35.7%), followed by TransPennine Express (15.4%) – some of which could be attributed to it taking over the Manchester to Leeds stopping service from Northern.

READ MORE: Find out more about rail developments in the North at TCR North

Northern still recorded their highest Q4 figure since 2016-17 despite the change, seeing a 5.9% increase in passenger kilometres. This rise has been partly attributed to the operator's recovery from industrial action in 2017-18's Q4, as well as the benefits of the Great North Project. TransPennine also saw a quarterly increase of 6.2% in passenger kilometres for similar reasons.

Read the full ORR report here.

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