Eurostar’s Green Credentials help drive huge regional passenger growth

Eurostar is celebrating huge growth in traveller demand from the regions after its first year of operations at St Pancras International, the newly restored terminal for High Speed 1, the UK’s first high-speed line.

Traveller numbers from the regions north of London have increased by up to 150% in the year since Eurostar move to the new station, thanks to the introduction of through fares from more than 130 towns and cities.  In the first nine months of 2008 (Jan to Sept), Eurostar carried a total of 7.0 million travellers, up 13.9% on last year, with the value of ticket sales up 17.2% to £521.1 million.

The growth figures demonstrate that travellers are taking advantage of easy rail connections between domestic train operators and Eurostar services, and higher frequencies and better punctuality than regional air services.

Eurostar offers through fares to the Continent with First Great Western, National Express East Anglia, First Capital Connect, Virgin Trains, National Express East Coast, East Midlands Trains, London Midland, Chiltern Railways and Hull Trains. Return through fares range from just £67 from Luton to only £89 from Glasgow.

According to Richard Brown, Chief Executive, Eurostar travellers are switching to Eurostar for a variety of reasons including good value through fares, high frequencies of service to the Continent, and the much lower environmental impact of rail travel.

Rail travel is also being boosted by growing public concern about climate change. Since 14 November 2007 all Eurostar journeys have been carbon neutral at no extra cost to travellers when they book their tickets.  Independent research has shown that a Eurostar journey between London and Paris/Brussels generates 10 times less carbon dioxide than an equivalent flight.

Since 1 October, Eurostar has operated an amended timetable that makes best use of the reduced Channel tunnel capacity provided by Eurotunnel, the Channel tunnel operator. This timetable represents 93% of Eurostar capacity before the incident on 11 September 2008, and is expected to continue in force until after Eurotunnel restores full tunnel capacity next spring.
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