The rail industry has come under fire again this week for poor quality service and lengthy delays in a Which? report* which stated that 29 per cent of rail passengers experienced delays when they last travelled, with passengers from south-east England most likely to have their journeys affected.
The report confirms recent results comparing rail and air travel between major UK destinations by Europe’s largest regional airline, Flybe.
Key routes evaluated included:
London – Exeter: More than two hours by rail and one hour 10 minutes on average when flying (according to standard Flybe flight times)
London – Aberdeen: Nine hours by rail on average and one hour 40 minutes when flying (according to standard Flybe flight times)
Manchester – Newquay: More than seven hours on average by rail and one hour 10 minutes when flying (according to standard Flybe flight times)
Out of 21 rail companies referenced in the survey of 7,309 travellers, the companies with the most reported delays were Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern, First Capital Connect, South Eastern and First Great Western.
Flybe, recognised in the December 2014 Which? report as the UK’s most punctual airline, offers passengers a faster and cheaper alternative to rail travel between many British destinations on eight out of ten of its routes**.
Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer, Paul Simmons, points out that the latest report from Which?, in addition to the 2.2 per cent increase on regulated rail fares introduced this year, again confirms that air travel is the faster, quicker, cheaper option and with the added guarantee of never having to stand!
He said: “This report clearly shows the dissatisfaction voiced by customers that rail travel is less comfortable, less affordable and less reliable than ever before. Flybe offers the most comprehensive choice of domestic routes connecting the UK regions and, on eight out of ten routes, we are faster and cheaper on average than the train. The rail industry has a long way to go in order to win back the hearts and minds of UK travellers and in the interim, we look forward to welcoming many more of its disillusioned passengers on board our flights.”
*Which? Report published February 2015
** Based on average price of Flybe tickets and all equivalent rail journeys when bought 14 days in advance. Research conducted 19 & 26 November 2014