Strong growth for rail in city regions ‘bucks trend’

RAIL travel continues to grow rapidly in the UK’s urban centres.

This increase is bucking the trend for reduced commuting that has seen car use and bus patronage fall in recent years, according to a new report by the Urban Transport Group (UTG). 

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City regions such as Manchester are experiencing significant growth in rail usage, despite the decline of traditional daily commuting. Here, commuters dash across the concourse at Manchester Piccadilly. NETWORK RAIL

Regional rail, which includes most train services in major metropolitan areas, has seen patronage soar by 29% over the last decade – hitting 389 million in 2017/18 – although there has been a recent softening in demand because of poor performance and industrial action.

The traditional daily commute is in decline – people made 14 fewer commutes per year in 2017 than they did in 2008 – but UTG analysis exposes a significant shift towards heavy rail. 

Read more in the September 2019 issue of The RM – on sale now!

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