The SCRP is promoting leisure travel through the Days Out By rail campaign . Using active transport and exploring the outdoors is good for well-being but it also has a major impact on the local economy. CRN highlights research released by Rail Delivery Group into the spending habits of rail passengers reveals the vital role people travelling by train for days out and weekends away play in helping shops, restaurants and hotels to bounce back this summer.
According to the Value of Rail report by WPI Economics, carried out on behalf of the Rail Delivery Group, encouraging people back on board trains will generate billions in knock-on spending, boosting businesses and the economy.
On average, train passengers travelling for leisure spend £107 per trip on things like shops, restaurants and hotels. The report estimates that passengers across Britain travelling by train for days out pre-pandemic spend a total of £46bn per year on these activities.
The biggest spending by people taking the train for leisure is on food and drink at £15bn per year (an average £33 per trip), followed by £12bn (£31 per trip) on shopping, £10bn (£21 per trip) on accommodation and £5bn (£12 per trip) on entertainment and culture.
The research also shows how vital day-trippers-by-rail are to small firms with four in ten (39%) people surveyed saying that half or more of their spending is with small or independent businesses.
Train travel also brings wider benefits to those businesses hardest hit. A survey of SMEs in the retail and hospitality sectors found that they value the social benefits that the railway brings to their business, such as reduced congestion, at £1.2bn. When asked about their concerns if rail passengers don’t return and turn to cars instead, firms said they were particularly worried about traffic congestion (33% saying this is one of their top three concerns), difficulty receiving deliveries (32%) and worse parking availability (30%).
There has never been a better time to promote rail travel for health and leisure, and now we have the evidence of how it will help with the recovery. Enjoy our Places to Visit page for top tips for great adventures by rail.