RIA welcome August post-pandemic passenger number milestone

RIA have responded to newly published national rail passengers’ figures which show 95 per cent of pre-Covid levels are being hit in August.

Passengers leaving a train

Credit: Network Rail

The Department for Transport has published figures showing that national rail passenger numbers have reached a new post-pandemic milestone, with 95 per cent of pre-Covid levels being recorded on 10 August. This came in a run of seven straight days, from 6th August to 12th August, where 93-95 per cent of pre-Covid passenger levels were hit every single day of the week.

“Given all the industrial action of recent weeks, and that the month of August is the traditional summer season when many go on holiday, it is astonishing that we are now getting 95 per cent of pre-Covid passenger levels reached on the national rail network, and in a week where over 93 per cent was recorded every single day of the week,” Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said. “This welcome milestone has been hit less than six months since pandemic restrictions started being relaxed and is a clear vote of confidence in UK rail. One must assume it is only a matter of time before we are back to 100 per cent of pre-Covid levels. Given this, RIA and our members once again urge the Treasury and policy-makers and influencers not to base 30-year programmes and forecasts for the future of rail on the abnormal period of the pandemic, but instead to plan increased investment for the growth in capacity we are going to need in the years ahead.”

The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £43 billion in economic growth and £14 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 710,000 people. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60 per cent by number).