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Train to gain?

Colossal fuel prices are never far from anyone’s mind. They have been the subject of controversy and national campaigns for many months. And they are having a massive impact on motorists’ daily lives and spending habits.

Now, it has been revealed that soaring fuel prices are forcing people out of their cars and onto trains, with a whopping five per cent more journeys made in the first quarter of 2011 than the same period of 2010, according to the Association of Train Operation Companies (ATOC).

Of course, the snow which beleaguered the country last year may have had a bit to do with the figures, but we feel that many people are favouring train transport as a cheaper alternative to taking the car, especially when booking in advance and negating pricey car park charges.

Plus, in the year to March 2011, 1.34 billion rail journeys were taken, a 6.6 per cent rise on the previous 12-month period.

Michael Roberts, ATOC Chief Executive, said: “It’s been a strong quarter on the railways, with more and more people choosing to travel by train, despite tough economic times and tight family budgets for many. Passenger numbers continue to rise to levels not witnessed in peacetime Britain since the 1920s, with well over a billion journeys made every year.

“At a time when high petrol prices are a concern to many households, the fact that more people are choosing to travel by train underlines the vital role that rail has to play in the economy’s continued recovery.”

We reported last week that more people were taking buses as a result of rising fuel costs, so it’s no surprise that trains are also gaining in popularity. Both transport industries will benefit, as they too have been straining under the weight of massive fuel bills.

The Government still needs to do something though, to address unfair fuel price rises for motorists and businesses alike. To sign the national petition, visit: www.fairfueluk.com
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