Hull Trains has reported record customer numbers for the first five months of 2017 – suggesting UK City of Culture is having a significant impact on visitor numbers.
The UK’s Rail Operator of the Year saw a 17% increase on all long distance journeys at the start of the year - well above the industry average of 4.3% growth for the same period. Over the past five months, the company has seen year-on-year growth of 12.7% as more than 52,000 additional customers have travelled on their services.
Managing Director, Will Dunnett, says: “We have begun the year very strongly and early analysis has indicated much of this passenger growth is from people coming from the south. In the first half of the year, we have brought an additional 13,300 people from London to Hull compared to the same period last year and I believe much of this growth is due to the impact of Hull 2017’s events.
“High-profile events such as the Big Weekend saw a significant spike in customer numbers, however we are attributing a lot of this growth down to Hull's events overall and the positive response to our additional early morning services on Saturdays. We’re very proud to be supporting our home city as the Rail Supplier for Hull UK City of Culture 2017.”
Hull Trains has added additional early morning services on Saturdays, in both north and south directions, which have proved popular with customers wishing to make the most of a day in the Capital of Culture.
A dedicated Visitor Information Kiosk has opened in Hull Paragon station giving customers the chance to find out more information about various events from official UK City of Culture 2017 volunteers. Visitors can also book tickets here for the many events going on across the city.
Mr Dunnett added: “We look forward to welcoming more passengers on board and we’re committed to providing visitors to Hull City of Culture 2017 with a positive and lasting impression."
Hull Trains was named the UK’s Rail Operator of the Year 2016/17 at the National Transport Awards as well as scooping further regional and local accolades for service and performance. The company won the ‘Customer Service Team of the Year’ award at the inaugural North of England Transport Awards in November. This was followed by a local win for ‘Customer Focus’ at the Mail Business Awards in Hull, which acknowledges the top performing firms across Hull and the East Riding.
Hull Trains has consistently received the highest scores for passenger satisfaction for four consecutive years in the National Rail Passenger Survey. In January 2017, it was rated 97% for passenger satisfaction – the highest score ever by a long-distance train operator and 12% higher than the average long-distance operator. The company has also been amongst the top of the Which? passenger league for reliability, availability of seating, cleanliness and the overall conditions of the train for two successive years.
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