By Dan Loosemore: The growth of UK passenger rail has been underlined with some massive new statistics from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) published today which show that the number of passenger journeys on franchised rail services in the country reached 1.654 billion in 2014-15. Matching a trend across the world for a growth in demand and use of public transport, this is the highest recorded figure for UK rail ridership since the series began in 2002-3 and an increase of 4.2% (67.3 million) on the previous year. This is also an increase of 69.5% since 2002-3, when only 975.5 million journeys were made. ORR's 'Rail Usage Statistics' show the number of journeys made on the network and the distance travelled, providing an indication of the levels of demand for rail travel in Great Britain. (Picture top right - the West Coast Mainline next to the M1, which looks busier?)
The new UK Rail stats for 1 January to 31 March 2015 (Quarter 4), show that there were:
- 422.7 million franchised passenger journeys, up 3.7% (15.2 million) on the same quarter last year. 197.9 million of these were season ticket journeys, the highest number reported using season tickets since the data series began in 2002.
- 297.4 million franchised passenger journeys in the London and South East sector, a 2.8% (8 million) rise on Q4 last year.
- 33.0 million journeys in the long distance franchised sector, up by 5.8% (1.8 million) over same quarter last year.
- 92.3 million journeys in the regional franchised sector, a 6.1% (5.3 million) rise on Q4 last year.
- 0.53 million passenger journeys in the non-franchised sector, a 9% (0.04 million) jump over the same quarter in 2013-14.
To read the full statistical report and methodology click here.