London-Edinburgh market share was 37% in June

 

A Virgin Trains East Coast train at Edinburgh Waverley

 

Virgin has achieved its highest air/rail market share on its Scottish routes, with the company’s East and West Coast services carrying a third of London-Scotland passengers in June.

The company said it was indicative of a “historic shift” in travel patterns as “more passengers choose train over plane than at any time in more than 20 years” on the UK’s busiest domestic air routes. In June, patronage on Virgin services between London and Glasgow/Edinburgh grew 18% to 180,000. The company said similarly strong growth was achieved in July and August and that it expected to “retain record-breaking market share” when air travel figures are published for those months.

On the East Coast route, Virgin’s market share between London and Edinburgh was 37% in June. On the West Coast between London and Glasgow it was 27%. It has been climbing steadily in the past year due to improved East Coast frequencies, more competitive fares and campaigns to win back passengers following storm damage to the Lamington viaduct on the West Coast route.

We set out ambitious plans to gain a 50% market share between Edinburgh and London by 2023. These figures show an encouraging start

“When we took over the East Coast route [in 2015], we set out ambitious plans to gain a 50% market share between Edinburgh and London by 2023. These figures show an encouraging start to that journey and confirm an historic shift in travel patterns towards train,” David Horne, Virgin Trains managing director on the East Coast route, said.

Virgin also pointed to new research from Transform Scotland to highlight the environmental benefits achieved. It shows that, although air/rail journeys between London and Scotland are increasing (by 10% in 2016), carbon emissions are falling as more people choose the train. Transform Scotland estimates that, over the past decade, growth on the West Coast route has saved 332,208 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 145,000 cars off the road for a year.

 

This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

DON’T MISS OUT – GET YOUR COPY! – click here to subscribe!