The Railway Industry Association is urging the Government ‘not to take its foot off the pedal of rail investment.’ The call came as Department for Transport statistics revealed passenger numbers met or beat pre-Covid levels on six days in February.
Data also suggests, says the association that passenger numbers have doubled in just over a year and that Mondays and Fridays are increasingly busy.
RIA Chief Executive Darren Caplan said: ‘To reach 103% of pre-Covid passenger levels barely a year on from pandemic rules being relaxed is an amazing achievement and shows that many people are returning to their previous routines of working, visiting friends and family, and enjoying leisure and hospitality. The remote working revolution has perhaps been over-reported too, with ‘hybrid-workers’ increasingly spending more time in the workplace.
‘We should also bear in mind that today’s figures are being compared to March 2020, the end of the second highest period of passengers in UK rail history. And that in the last year we have had significant industrial action and some poor service levels on some parts of the network. Imagine how much higher these passenger figures would be were this not the case.’
Mr Caplan also suggested that passenger revenues could be up to around 90% of pre-Covid levels.