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Railhub Archive
2001-07-10 ATO-001


Rail industry says 'it's time to return'

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Association of Train Operating Companies

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Rail industry says 'it's time to return'

10 July 2001
source ATOC
type Press release

The rail industry today launches a major nationwide television advertising campaign to encourage passengers to return to rail as the natural alternative to congested roads and parking problems.

Themed "It's Time to Return", the campaign is aimed at travellers who have avoided using trains following the widespread network disruption earlier in the year.

Campaign Director, Philip Benham, from the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: "Since the Hatfield accident many thousands of passengers, particularly leisure and business, have abandoned rail. This is hardly surprising considering the disruption they and the industry experienced.

"However, during that eight months, a tremendous amount of work has been done with more than 1,100 speed restrictions removed and 500 miles of new rail laid.

"This work, together with actions by the train operators, has led to substantial improvements in train performance, with four out of five trains now running on time. Many thousands of passengers have already returned to rail and the train operators and their industry partners believe the time is now right to launch this campaign to reach those passengers who are yet to do so.

"We have been delighted with the advertising agency, McCann and Erickson, who have done an excellent job producing an innovative campaign with advertisements which will feature on television, press and posters to the end of July."

Chris Austin, External Relations Director of the Strategic Rail Authority, said: "With this campaign we are bringing together all 26 train operating companies and Railtrack for the first time on a major marketing initiative for the national rail network.

"It underpins a determination that exists at every level within the industry to win back customers lost during the severe disruption that has occurred since last autumn. I hope it will play a central role in encouraging those people to return in large numbers, reducing pressure on the roads and moving us towards the objective of a 50% increase in passenger use by 2010."


Notes to Editors

1. McCann Erickson have produced the £3 million campaign which features television, press and poster advertisements.

2. There have been approximately 50 million less passenger journeys since the Hatfield accident. This is estimated to have cost the industry £300m in lost revenue.

3. The train operators are spending an additional £25 million on related local media campaigns.

4. Recent promotions to encourage passengers back to rail include Virgin's 50% of all tickets for February; GNER's 10 day special of £5 one way or £10 return; Midland Mainline's two month Big Tenner promotion allowed two people to travel anywhere (return) on their services for £10; Anglia Railway's two month Pie'n'Mash promotion providing tickets between London and Norwich for £10 return; and First Great Western's £10 and £15 return ticket between London and Bristol and Cardiff respectively.

For more information call the ATOC Press Office on 020 7904 3010 or SRA Press Office 020 7654 6234

Railhub Archive ::: 2001-07-10 ATO-001


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