Page last updated at 00:01 GMT, Monday, 8 December 2008

More and faster trains promised

Commuters on train
Many commuters face an increase in their train fares from 2 January

Rail passengers across Britain will benefit from almost 700 extra services a day on weekdays when a new timetable begins next week, train operators say.

The Association of Train Operating Companies said weekday services would increase by 3.4%, including some faster and longer trains.

Customer watchdog Passenger Focus said it welcomed the imminent completion of the West Coast Main Line upgrade.

But the move comes as fares are due to rise on average by 6% from 2 January.

Michael Roberts, Atoc's chief executive, said rail companies would be operating 265,000 more trains a year from Sunday in England, Scotland and Wales.

That figure includes an extra 5.2% more services on Saturdays and an extra 7.6% on Sundays.

Many services would be faster and feature longer trains, he added, and the completion of a multi-billion pound upgrade would mean faster journeys on the London to Scotland West Coast main line.

"The new timetable is a clear demonstration that the railway industry continues to add value for passengers," he said.

"The improvements will be felt by people in many parts of the country, whether they are regular commuters or occasional travellers on the main inter-city routes."

New stations

Other improvements will include the opening of four new stations during the timetable period - Aylesbury Vale Parkway, Buckinghamshire; Corby, Northamptonshire; East Midlands Parkway, Nottinghamshire; and Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire.

Eight additional towns and cities are also to be linked by direct services to London: Alsager, Cheshire; Atherstone, Warwickshire; Corby; Ivybridge, Devon; Lincoln; and Rugeley, Stone and Kidsgrove, all in Staffordshire.

Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus's chief executive, said that travellers would welcome shorter journey times and less overcrowding as a result of the West Coast Main Line upgrade.

"Passengers tell us that additional trains, punctual services and an end to overcrowding are their top priorities," he said.

"The successful delivery of the most frequent inter-city rail service in Europe for passengers travelling to the north west will go a long way to compensate passengers' tolerance during engineering work."

RAIL COMPANY FARE RISES

Proposed changes from 2 January 2009

Train company Avge regulated rise Avge unregulated rise
Arriva Trains Wales 6% 6%
c2c 6% 6%
Chiltern Railways 6% 7.50%
CrossCountry 6% 11%
East Midlands Trains 6% 7.40%
First Capital Connect 6% 9%
First Great Western 6% 6.60%
First ScotRail 6% 6%
First TransPennine Express 6% 6.40%
London Midland 6% 0%
Merseyrail 5% 5%
National Express East Anglia 6% 6%
National Express East Coast 6% 7.40%
Northern Rail 6% 7%
Southeastern 8% 6%
Southern 6% 6%
South West Trains 6% 7.20%
Virgin Trains 6% 7%
Average 6% 7%



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Train commuters face dilemma
15 Oct 08 |  England
Rail fares 'set to be simplified'
24 Apr 08 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific