Lowest number of passengers since mid-19th century

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Horizon22

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The ORR has just released their quarterly data on passenger usage which makes for grim / interesting reading. https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/statistics/usage/passenger-rail-usage/ - specific file here

Passenger rail usage during the first quarter of 2020-21 was severely affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. An alternative methodology was applied to estimate usage with some ticket types. As a result, there is more uncertainty around the 2020-21 Q1 estimates compared with previous quarters.

Rail passenger journeys in Great Britain in 2020-21 Q1 fell to 35 million (8.1% of the 439 million in 2019-20 Q1). This represents the lowest level of passenger usage since the mid-nineteenth century.
 
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yorksrob

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Hardly surprising, given that we were all instructed not to use the train.

More interesting will be to see how the current 40% reacts to the latest covid upturn. No discernable change on the Hallam stopper so far !
 

paulmch

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Seems bang on the money - the weekly stats being published by the DfT for April-June averaged a drop of about 93% in that period, and the numbers posted in this press release are a drop of about the same.
 

yorkie

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To avoid duplication of discussion, here are some relevant links:

 

squizzler

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The tabloid press always like to bang on about Britain’s “Victorian railway system”, I suppose if it has Victorian passenger loadings which it was designed for perhaps they will be happy?
 

yorksrob

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Y Ddraig Coch

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Also.... hard to travel when trains where for many months a Skelaton service. Was always going to make a huge dent.
 
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urbophile

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The surprise should be that so many people are using the trains, even during the height of the lockdown. 'Do not use public transport' has been the message all along. I know 'the new normal' is a cliché but things will settle down eventually and we might realise that railways perform an essential public service and hence should be run as such.
 

Geeves

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The message was 'only travel if it is essential', no one said you could not travel or do not travel. That was my understanding anyway, of course if you got to the end of the journey and were seen sitting on a beach then you were likely to be questioned.
 
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yorksrob

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The message was 'only travel if it is essential', no one said you could not travel or do not travel. That was my understanding anyway, of course if you got the end of the journey and were seen sitting on a beach then you were likely to be questioned.

Welcome to Stasi Britain !
 

flitwickbeds

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The message was 'only travel if it is essential', no one said you could not travel or do not travel. That was my understanding anyway, of course if you got to the end of the journey and were seen sitting on a beach then you were likely to be questioned.
I'm not sure that's correct. The message was that "public transport is reserved for key workers only". Very different to "essential travel only".
 

deltic

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Looking at the decline on a TOC by TOC basis there are some large variations. TfL was managing 16% of usual numbers, Scotrail was just 4%
 

43066

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I'm not sure that's correct. The message was that "public transport is reserved for key workers only". Very different to "essential travel only".

That was certainly the message put out by many TOCs, but it was incorrect and meaningless, because there has never been an official definition of “key worker”. Even at the height of the restrictions anyone who wasn’t furloughed, and who was unable to work from home, remained entitled to travel to work by public transport.

It also remained permissible to make essential journeys by public transport for many other reasons besides work.
 
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flitwickbeds

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That was certainly the message put out by many TOCs, but it was incorrect and meaningless, because there has never been an official definition of “key worker”.
There was a list published by central Government at the start of the lockdown. Those appearing on it (I was surprised to find that I was on it) were entitled to, for example, keep their children in school.

I think that would be a pretty good definition of key worker?
 

43066

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There was a list published by central Government at the start of the lockdown. Those appearing on it (I was surprised to find that I was on it) were entitled to, for example, keep their children in school.

I think that would be a pretty good definition of key worker?

The “critical worker” list for education/childcare was non exhaustive and specifically didn’t have anything to do with entitlement to use public transport. Government guidance stated as follows (my bold):


The Government has also identified a number of critical workers whose children can still go to school or their childcare provider. This critical worker definition does not affect whether or not you can travel to work - if you are not a critical worker, you may still travel to work provided you cannot work from home.

It has *always* remained possible for people to travel to work by public transport if they needed to (obviously this would have been a relatively small group when many non essential businesses were closed down).

There were also other reasons why you could use public transport - attending court, medical appointments, funeral attendance etc. So entreaties by TOCs to keep transport free for “key workers” have always been hollow.
 

Ianno87

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The “critical worker” list for education/childcare was non exhaustive and specifically didn’t have anything to do with entitlement to use public transport. Government guidance stated as follows (my bold):




It has *always* remained possible for people to travel to work by public transport if they needed to (obviously this would have been a relatively small group when many non essential businesses were closed down).

There were also other reasons why you could use public transport - attending court, medical appointments, funeral attendance etc. So entreaties by TOCs to keep transport free for “key workers” have always been hollow.

Guidance was "only go to work if you cannot work from home" - and there are plenty of such jobs that would not be considered a "key worker" job (e.g. manufacturing).

And if you did not have access to a car, travelling to work by public transport was the only possibility.
 

irish_rail

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Feels alot like Gov Is doing its best to discourage train travel, in order to justify future cuts to services in order to save money....
 

BigB

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If the driver was to save money, I doubt that the services would have returned to (almost) normal services so quickly, especially considering the loadings seen.

And remember that Boris and his boys don't control all the trains.....
 

deltic

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TfW was averaging just 5 passengers per train, Scotrail and Northern 6 - LNER services were the busiest averaging just under 40
 

trebor79

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If the driver was to save money, I doubt that the services would have returned to (almost) normal services so quickly, especially considering the loadings seen.

And remember that Boris and his boys don't control all the trains.....
Hmm. But putting normal services back on inflates costs (a bit), so provides ammo for someone with an agenda.
BR were alleged to have used similar tactics on lines they wanted to close. Documented examples on the Stainmore line, for example of unnecessary signal replacements being done on Sundays (double time), when the work could have been done in the week etc. The high cost of maintaining the line was cited as one of the justifications for closure. [I'm not debating the rights or wings of that closure, just pointing out sometimes there's an agenda, and I certainly wouldn't put it past this lot. Whether they could execute it competently is a whole other question].
 

BigB

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I was speaking about Westminster not controlling trains in e.g. Scotland - the network is looking to expand and electrify as much as possible here.
It is probably true that if we took the Maintenance costs into consideration this year, several key arterial routes including the main Edinburgh-Glasgow route may have economies that may look poor in relation to revenue. But so will all lines, and I don't believe even the most brass necked politician would try to pull that one.
I think you may be seeing something that's not there, but the cancellation of the Snow White pachyderm that is HS2 may be the first step in proving me wrong...
 

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Given Bozo's new found love of Wind Turbines and going Green then investing in electric railways is a good thing
 

Starmill

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If the driver was to save money, I doubt that the services would have returned to (almost) normal services so quickly, especially considering the loadings seen.

And remember that Boris and his boys don't control all the trains.....
Maybe in your area they've returned to almost normal...
 

BigB

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Simple answer is yes, pretty much.
A scan of RTT for the Edinburgh Glasgow route today shows the only cancellations being the sleeper (industrial action), LNER Stirling Services (only running to Edinburgh) and various freight paths. all timetables Scotrail services ran with very little short forming I could see.
Out of interest I looked at Northern cancellations for Manchester Piccadilly - only one today, and none at Victoria, although Trans Pennine have many...
 

Horizon22

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Looking at the decline on a TOC by TOC basis there are some large variations. TfL was managing 16% of usual numbers, Scotrail was just 4%

Doesn't surprise me that much. London services have generally been busier as these are often a higher proportion of shift workers who need to be relatively close to their workplace to not be insane / impossible commutes and regional-style 60 min office commuters aren't travelling. Regional travel (excepting some leisure) is lower and Scotland has taken a more hardline approach to travel restrictions.
 

Starmill

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Simple answer is yes, pretty much.
A scan of RTT for the Edinburgh Glasgow route today shows the only cancellations being the sleeper (industrial action), LNER Stirling Services (only running to Edinburgh) and various freight paths. all timetables Scotrail services ran with very little short forming I could see.
Out of interest I looked at Northern cancellations for Manchester Piccadilly - only one today, and none at Victoria, although Trans Pennine have many...
I'm afraid you may have slightly misunderstood - trains do not show up as 'cancelled' when they've been withdrawn from the timetable completely (even if you selected the 'CAN' option on Realtime Trains).

Many services that ran at the start of March are not running at all in this timetable period (May - December), some of which will not be returning in December. These wouldn't show at all on Realtime Trains.

What you'd really need to fo is follow the train km period by period to get the best idea of how the cuts have fallen. Most CrossCountry routes for example are currently running about half of their normal service.
 
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61653 HTAFC

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Hardly surprising, given that we were all instructed not to use the train.

More interesting will be to see how the current 40% reacts to the latest covid upturn. No discernable change on the Hallam stopper so far !
Absolutely. This is up there with "Bears like to defecate in the woods" when it comes to obvious statements.

The key thing is how quickly things return to "normal", and if that will happen at all. No doubt some will continue to work from home even when they don't have to, but my feeling is that this will just mean all the additional capacity added in the last couple of years won't fill up quite as quickly.

Unless there's a clear indication that things won't get back to "normal", there's an ample opportunity to get on with all the planned upgrades around the network.

Moderator note: the recovery of public transport can be discussed here:
 
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