Train journeys down 12% on pre-pandemic levels

Passenger usage of Britain’s railways during the first three months of the year was 12% below pre-pandemic levels.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) said an estimated 389 million journeys were made by train from the start of January to the end of March.

That is compared with 443 million during the same period in 2019.

The ORR said strike action “affected large parts of the network” at the beginning of this year.

Total revenue from passengers was £2.2 billion during the three-month period, down 31% from 2019 when the figure was £3.2 billion.

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which is representing train operators in the long-running dispute with unions over jobs, pay and conditions said: “The past quarter shows us that demand for rail has changed and as an industry we need to move with it.

“The financial challenge remains stark, as commuter and business travel remain below pre-pandemic levels, but there is a strong demand for leisure travel.

“If our customers want to travel at the weekend, then we need to reform working practices to ensure we can provide reliable, punctual services when they need it.”