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2000-06-30 ATO-001


Farewell to ticket queues: train tickets from your living room

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Association of Train Operating Companies
digital tickets

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Farewell to ticket queues: train tickets from your living room

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2000-06-01 Rail industry needs strong balance sheet to finance investment says ATOC (ATOC)


30 June 2000
source ATOC
type Press release

'Let your digits do the talking' will be the focus for Britain's train companies as they aim to revolutionise ticket sales.

How would you prefer to buy your train ticket? Standing in a line with your luggage wrapped around your shoulders or sitting in the comfort of your own home, either on the phone or at your computer or TV screen?

Passenger demand has grown strongly in recent years and is forecast to increase by a further 50% by 2010. New ways of selling tickets - such as call centres, the Internet and digital TV - must be explored to meet this demand and prevent increased station queuing, according to new research commissioned by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC).

By 2003, the UK will have 24.5 million adult Internet users. UK retail sales on the Internet are predicted to rise to 7.5% (£20bn) in 2005 from 0.25% (£1.7bn) in 1999. Travel services already form a high proportion of this, and rail travel is well-suited to Internet sales.

The Internet and telesales are particularly suitable for handling more complex transactions like advance purchase tickets. Advance purchases are the fastest growing sector of the rail travel market, but they also take the longest time to complete. Being able to buy train tickets from your living room means everyone benefits, because queues will be cut at station ticket offices.

Electronic retailing provides customers with the convenience of obtaining information and purchasing tickets from home or office, at a time of their choice. Rail ticket sales through the Internet and telesales are forecast to rise by 157% in the five years 1999-2004, contributing 8% of total ticket sales (£300m) and this has the potential to be higher.

"Our research shows that a rapidly increasing number of people, both leisure and business travellers, like the comfort and convenience of being able to call up or key in their rail journey requests in advance, so they don't have to leave extra time to get to the station in case there's a queue for tickets," said Philip Benham, ATOC's Director of Commercial Services.

"Continued high rates of passenger growth will increasingly stretch station retailing capacity. Station queuing leads to customer dissatisfaction - and reducing queue lengths is the top retailing need for customers, according to our research."


For further information contact:
Jay Merritt, Media Relations Manager: 0207 904 3010

Railhub Archive ::: 2000-06-30 ATO-001


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