London North Eastern Railway (LNER) continues to lead the way when it comes to passenger growth and usage, topping the table for franchised operators for the seventh consecutive quarter.
Between October and December 2022, passenger journeys were at 96 per cent when compared with the same period for 2019, according to new data published today by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
The figures include eleven days of strike action and several consecutive days of engineering upgrade works at both Newcastle and York, affecting the number of services LNER could run.
During the quarter, LNER recorded 5.4 million passenger journeys, an increase of 15 per cent on the same period in 2021.LNER data shows that more than 23 million passenger journeys were made on its services between March 2022 and the beginning of February2023.
Fridays and Sundays are now proving to be the most popular days for people to travel.
Meanwhile, LNER maintains its lead over the share of the air market with more than 50per cent of journeys between Edinburgh and London as people increasingly look to travel in a more sustainable way.
The ORR data has been published just ahead of English Tourism Week.
David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “Our investment, innovation and dedication in putting our customers first, doing everything we can to ensure they enjoy the best possible experience, have been key to our success in attracting more and more people back to travel with LNER over the past couple of years.
“We have invested in our fleet and in improvements across our stations, added new destinations introduced new services and have pioneered a digital revolution, making travel smarter, simpler, accessible, and attractive. Our award-winning app enables customers to book journeys, reserve their seat and sign up to live journey updates and One-Click Delay Repay, while enjoying the benefits of our LNER Perks loyalty scheme –all at the touch of their fingertips.”
LNER’s ongoing investment and digital innovations means hundreds of thousands of tickets have already been put on sale for travel up to 8 September 2023, enabling more customers to plan ahead for great value fares for their summer getaways.
Exclusive research revealed by LNER shows memory-making leisure travel is still high on the agenda this year, despite the rising cost of living.The survey conducted for LNER by Ipsos, shows that travel remains top-of-mind with 65 per cent of people planning to take a leisure trip within the UK during 2023.
VisitEngland Director, Andrew Stokes, said: “With spring upon us, the Easter break just ahead and as we come together to celebrate English Tourism Week, it is timely to highlight the ease and convenience of rail travel to access the outstanding visitor attractions and destinations here on our doorstep, and in an environmentally friendly way too.”
Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, said: “The return of rail travel and growth in LNER passenger numbers is welcome news for Scottish tourism as our industry continues to recover from the effects of the pandemic.
“Providing a direct route between London and Scotland, and many parts of the UK, rail provides a convenient and sustainable way to explore a variety of destinations in Scotland from the rural Highlands and seaside towns on the North East coast to our vibrant cities.
“Rail travel is a central part of helping Scotland to become a sustainable tourism destination and it is fantastic to see growing demand from visitors to travel in this way.”
The latest ORR data for the quarter between October 2022-December 2022 can be found here: https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/media/2190/passenger-rail-usage-oct-dec-2022.pdf
Photo credit: LNER