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Passenger levels continue recovery




The
number
of
passengers
on
National
Rail
reached
99
per
cent
of
pre-Covid
levels
on
Friday
18
November



according
to
the
latest
statistics
from
the
Department
for
Transport,
which
also
said
the
usage
level
remained
at
97
per
cent
over
the
weekend
which
followed.



The
DfT
is
set
to
publish
a
Statement
of
Funds
Available
(SoFA)
tomorrow.



Railway
Industry
Association
chief
executive
Darren
Caplan
said:
‘It
is
clear
from
DfT
passenger
figures
just
published
that
passengers
are
coming
back
in
force,
even
during
the
working
week.



‘With
99
per
cent
recorded
on
18
November,
we
are
getting
tantalisingly
close
to
the
figures
recorded
in
early
2020,
a
period
which
marked
the
second
highest
year
on
record.



‘Coupled
with
the
news
that
passenger
revenues
are
at
around
85
per
cent
plus
of
pre-Covid
levels,
and
despite
the
impact
of
industrial
disputes
and
service
issues
in
some
parts
of
the
country,
the
message
to
government
couldn’t
be
clearer.



‘Whilst
we
appreciate
the
renewed
commitments
to
HS2,
“core”
Northern
Powerhouse
Rail
and
East
West
Rail,
we
mustn’t
take
our
foot
off
the
pedal
of
investment
in
the
existing
rail
network
too,
which
is
close
to
capacity,
will
need
even
more
capacity
in
the
years
ahead
and
which
is
the
cleanest
form
of
transport
for
government
to
invest
in.



‘We
urge
the
Treasury
and
DfT
to
take
note
of
the
return
to
rail,
and
recognise
that,
even
in
the
current
tough
economic
times,
rather
than
being
a
cost
on
the
public
purse,
rail
actually
supports
710,000
jobs,
£43
billion
Gross
Value
Added,
and
£14
billion
in
tax
revenue.
For
every
pound
spent
on
rail,
£2.50
is
generated
in
the
wider
economy.
With
it
being
only
a
matter
of
time
before
100
per
cent
of
pre-Covid
passenger
levels
are
reached,
we
urge
the
government
to
ensure
work
is
properly
funded
on
the
existing
network
in
its
SoFA
for
2024-29,
as
well
as
to
push
on
with
its
welcome
support
for
the
major
projects.’

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