Latest Rail News

04.06.15

Passenger journeys reach highest level in 2014-15

Passenger journeys on franchised operators have increased by more than 4% in the last year, and reached their highest ever level, according to new data from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). 

The latest ‘Passenger Rail Usage’ report highlighted that the total 1.654bn journeys were up 4.2% on the 1.59bn recorded in 2013-14 and up by 69.5% on the 975.5m recorded in 2002-03 when the series began. 

The London and South East sector accounted for 69.8% of the total franchised passenger journeys, with 1.15bn journeys this year. 

ORR also revealed that in 2014-15, £8.9bn was raised from passenger journeys made in Great Britain on passenger operators. This was split between £8.8bn by franchised operators and £63m by non-franchised operators. Overall passenger revenue increased by 7.4% on the £8.3bn collected in 2013-14. 

Within the document it was also highlighted that the total number of Timetabled Train Kilometres (TTKM) - the number of train kilometres each train operator would achieve if they operated 100% - were 529.9m kilometres. This was up 1% on 2013-14. 

During Q4 of 2014-15, for the fourth consecutive quarter, First TransPennine Express recorded the largest increase in its TTKM for franchised operators, primarily due to the introduction of additional services between Leeds and Manchester in May 2014.

A spokesperson for First TransPennine Express told RTM: “As an operator, we have a fantastic story to tell in terms of our growth, not just in the previous year but in the last ten years where journeys on our services have risen from 13.5 million to 28 million.

“There is no doubt the May 2014 timetable is supporting this uplift in recent growth, where we introduced more services and extra capacity between Manchester and Leeds. As we look to the future, demand for rail services is only set to rise and the roll out of the northern electrification programme will in time enable more people than ever to enjoy the benefits of rail travel.”

Govia Thameslink Railway recorded the second highest quarter-on-quarter increase for franchised operators, with an increase of 8.8%. This was due to the introduction of additional services along some of Govia Thameslink Railways’ routes through the December 2014 timetable, and the taking over of some Southeastern routes. 

244 ORR

Consequently, Southeastern has seen the biggest drop in its TTKM compared to the same quarter last year, falling by 4.7%. 

Michael Roberts, director general of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents Network Rail and rail operators, said: “The railway plays an increasingly important role in Britain, underpinning jobs and driving economic growth. After two decades of growth in people and goods travelling by train, our nation leads the way on rail in Europe. 

“There is much to do to, particularly to ensure that more trains arrive punctually and we keep passengers better informed when disruption occurs, but good value fares and a focus on improving services are attracting more people to travel by train.” 

To view the full statistical release and methodology, click here.   

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