Demand for rail travel will only return to 75% of normal levels following the coronavirus pandemic, transport company Abellio Group has predicted.
Dominic Booth, managing director of Abellio Group, told MPs he is “very confident about winning the majority of passengers back”.
- Rail firms report 91% compliance with face covering rule
- Digital signalling roll-out set to bring more reliable journeys
Giving evidence to the Commons Transport Select Committee, he said: “We expect to be able to win back around 75% on a like-for-like basis of passenger journeys.”
Mr Booth acknowledged there will be “quite a lot of change” in travel patterns, particularly due to the shift in people working from home instead of commuting.
He went on: “A combination of winning back a very healthy chunk of our previous patronage added to an enhanced role in the climate change agenda over the next several years we think calls for quite a substantial and large-sized railway to remain.”
Abellio is the parent company of train operators Greater Anglia, Merseyrail, ScotRail, West Midlands Trains and East Midlands Railway.
Department for Transport data shows demand for rail travel across Britain is at around a quarter of normal levels.
Rail companies were handed emergency recovery management agreements (ERMAs) in September, which mean taxpayers are covering their multibillion-pound losses and paying them a fee of up to 1.5% of their pre-pandemic operating costs.
Railway ReadsFrom the history of steam through to 21st century rail transport news, we have titles that cater for all rail enthusiasts. Covering diesels, modelling, steam and modern railways, check out our range of magazines and fantastic subscription offers.
Get The Railway Hub Weekly Round-upEnter your e-mail address below and you will receive weekly rail news straight into your inbox…
You can unsubscribe at any time.