Cross-border train journeys rose to 9.6 million last year, figures show

The number of people choosing the train for journeys between Scotland and England rose to 9.6 million last year, according to new figures.

In 2017/18 there was a 6.3% increase in the number of cross-border journeys compared to 2016-17, figures from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) showed.

Journeys between Scotland and London, which rose by 12.1%, accounted for nearly half (48%) of the increase, with the rise attributed to the completion of improvements projects and electrification works in 2017-18.

There was a small drop in the number of passengers travelling between Scotland and Wales with 39,000 passengers making the journey in 2017/18, down 0.3% on the previous year.

Scotland saw the highest level of growth out of any region in 2017/18.

Passengers made 102 million journeys, a 3.2% increase on the previous year.

The majority of journeys started or ended in south western Scotland (including Glasgow) or the east of the country.

The ORR report said: “Cross-border services to/from eastern Scotland (which includes Edinburgh) and south western Scotland (which includes Glasgow), together account for 96% of journeys to/from Scotland and increased by 7.4% and 5.8% respectively in 2017-18.

“Journeys within Scotland rose by 2.9% in 2017-18, to 92.3 million.

“Journeys starting or ending in South Western Scotland (which includes Glasgow), accounted for 68% of journeys within Scotland and increased by 3.0%.”

The figures come after a Transport Scotland report published on Wednesday found that train and car use in Scotland increased but the number of bus journeys fell in 2017/18.

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