1.73 BIL­LION:

Record pas­sen­ger num­bers rise again

Rail (UK) - - Front Page -

The num­ber of rail pas­sen­ger jour­neys made in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2016-17 (Q2, Ju­lySeptem­ber 2016) showed an in­crease of 0.7% com­pared with the cor­re­spond­ing three-month pe­riod in 2015-16.

This was the low­est growth rate recorded since Q4 2012-13, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased by the Of­fice of Rail and Road (ORR) on De­cem­ber 8. The over­all num­ber of pas­sen­ger jour­neys made in Q2 was 425.1 mil­lion.

The ORR fig­ures also re­vealed that in the past 12 months 1.73 bil­lion pas­sen­ger jour­neys were made. Within this fig­ure, open ac­cess op­er­a­tors were re­spon­si­ble for a record 0.6 mil­lion jour­neys in the lat­est quar­ter.

Pas­sen­ger rev­enue from these 1.73 bil­lion jour­neys raised £9.3 bil­lion, with fran­chised op­er­a­tors ac­count­ing for £9.2bn and open ac­cess op­er­a­tors £71.6 mil­lion.

In Q2 the num­ber of pas­sen­ger kilo­me­tres in­creased by 1.7% to 16.6 bil­lion, and pas­sen­ger rev­enue rose 1.4% to £2.4bn, with a record high of £5.52 per pas­sen­ger on fran­chised op­er­a­tors.

How­ever, the over­all num­ber of pas­sen­ger train kilo­me­tres dropped 0.4% to 132.4 mil­lion.

The Lon­don and South East sec­tor recorded its first de­cline since Q4 2012-13, with the 294.5 mil­lion pas­sen­ger jour­neys made in Q2 2016-17 rep­re­sent­ing a fall of 0.5% com­pared with Q2 2015-16.

Three op­er­a­tors in this sec­tor - South West Trains (SWT), Lon­don Over­ground and Govia Thames­link Rail­way (GTR) - recorded de­clines in pas­sen­ger jour­neys. Com­bined, the three op­er­a­tors ac­count for more

Of the 1.73 bil­lion pas­sen­ger jour­neys made on Bri­tain’s rail­ways in 2015-16, Govia Thames­link Rail­way car­ried the largest num­ber of pas­sen­gers (327.0 mil­lion).

Fran­chised sea­son ticket jour­neys in Q2 2016-17 dropped 2.7% to 157.4 mil­lion, com­pared with the cor­re­spond­ing quar­ter in 2015-16. This is a key driver of de­mand in Lon­don and the South East, and is a likely rea­son for the de­cline in the num­ber of jour­neys made in that sec­tor.

Open ac­cess op­er­a­tor Grand Cen­tral en­joyed a record num­ber of pas­sen­ger jour­neys than 60% of pas­sen­ger jour­neys in the sec­tor. De­spite the drop, GTR was still re­spon­si­ble for the most pas­sen­ger jour­neys in Q2 2016-17 (79.7 mil­lion).

Jour­neys in the fran­chised Long Dis­tance and Re­gional (in­clud­ing Scot­land) sec­tors both rose by 3.5% in the quar­ter, with 35.9 mil­lion jour­neys in the for­mer a record high.

Pas­sen­ger kilo­me­tres rose across all three sec­tors, with the Re­gional in Q2 2016-17, with 0.4 mil­lion jour­neys. This is an in­crease of 3.1% on the cor­re­spond­ing quar­ter in 2015-16.

North­ern Rail recorded the high­est quar­ter-on-quar­ter in­crease in pas­sen­ger kilo­me­tres - ORR said the rise of 13.5% was largely down to ser­vices trans­fer­ring from TransPen­nine Express. For the same rea­son, TPE recorded the largest drop (5.3%).

Pas­sen­ger rev­enue for fran­chised Re­gional ser­vices rose 3.1% in Q2 2016-17, reach­ing £366 mil­lion. This was the high­est growth recorded across the three sec­tors. sec­tor record­ing the high­est growth in Q2 (2.9%) com­pared with the same pe­riod in 2015-16. SWT recorded a 3.6% fall in jour­neys against a 2.1% rise in pas­sen­ger kilo­me­tres.

For pas­sen­ger rev­enue the in­crease was 1.4% com­pared with the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod in 201516, although this was the low­est growth recorded since Q2 2009-10.

ORR said rev­enue from fran­chised op­er­a­tors in Lon­don and the South East reached £1.2bn (up 0.5%), also the low­est growth since Q2 2009-102. The reg­u­la­tor said this slow­down was likely to be due to the de­crease in pas­sen­ger jour­neys. That sec­tor ac­counts for 50.0% of to­tal fran­chised pas­sen­ger rev­enue in Q2 2016-17 Q2.

GTR recorded the high­est num­ber of pas­sen­ger train kilo­me­tres in the quar­ter (14.4 mil­lion). How­ever, with fewer trains planned to run, com­bined with con­tin­ued staffing is­sues re­sult­ing in can­celled trains, ORR said GTR’s’ pas­sen­ger train kilo­me­tres had dropped 9.2% com­pared with the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod last year.

Open ac­cess op­er­a­tors’ pas­sen­ger train kilo­me­tres rose 0.1% dur­ing the quar­ter.

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