Cornwall sees biggest growth in train use
More people than ever before in Cornwall are choosing to travel by train, according to new figures.
First Great Western's statistics show an estimated 6.5 million journeys were made on Cornwall's rail network between April 2011 and March 2012 – an increase of 12% – double the average growth rates across the South West.
Julian Crow, First Great Western's Regional Manager, said nearly all stations and most routes had seen an increase in use. "These excellent results show the value of our local rail services in Cornwall and how a productive partnership can really deliver results that benefit local people and the local economy.
"Our Cornish local services are not only among the fastest growing, but also among the most reliable in the country and we look forward to working with Cornwall Council to deliver further improvements."
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Out of Cornwall's 36 stations, 32 saw an increase in passengers on the previous year, with Truro being the most popular, with more than 1.5m journeys made to or from the station. Bugle station on the Atlantic Coast Line to Newquay saw a 61% increase in use the same year as a new footpath was opened giving level access.
All of Cornwall's branch lines saw an increase in use in 2011, with the Maritime Line between Truro and Falmouth showing the most journeys, numbering 576,654, and the greatest year-on-year increase at 20.8%. This comes three years after a passing loop was installed at Penryn which enabled a half hourly service to be introduced on the line.
Since the half-hourly service was introduced, the number of people using the Maritime Line has doubled. The next highest increase was on the St Ives Bay Line between St Erth and St Ives, which saw 496,181 journeys in 2011, an increase of 12.7%.
Richard Burningham, Manager of the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership said: "More local people are finding trains are a really good way to get around and offer great value fares too, particularly for local journeys."