More passengers choose to travel with train firm
FIRST Hull Trains has revealed passenger numbers have risen by almost 10 per cent in the past year.
The business carried almost 800,000 passengers last year.
More than 788,400 people travelled with the firm, up by 8 per cent from 2011.
This was a 1,000 per cent increase on the numbers from the company's first year of operation in 2000.
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Keith Doughty, the company's service delivery director, said: "It has been a great year for us and we are very pleased with the fact more people are choosing First Hull Trains.
"We have had some very important milestones this year, not least the completion of a £4.5m mechanical overhaul that helped us improve the reliability of our rolling stock by 500 per cent.
"After 12 years of operating services from Hull to London, we are entering 2013 in fine form, with some plans in the pipeline that we hope will continue to deliver improvements to the service we deliver to our ever-increasing passenger numbers."
However, the positive news from the operator does follow a year where train delays and cancellations have caused upset for many passengers.
Mr Doughty said: "There have, of course, been some operational issues that have impacted on the service we have been able to provide at specific times throughout the year but we are always working towards improving this."
Despite the figures for the entirety last year, in the past five months there has been an increase of more than 12 per cent compared with the same period the year before.
The figures mean the company is beating rival long-distance train operators elsewhere in the country.
The company's commercial director, Will Dunnett, said: "The full-year figures do not tell the full tale of what we have achieved in more recent times.
"As we move into 2013, we are hoping more customers choose First Hull Trains."
Rail fare increases were a hot topic in the past week, with inflation-busting fare rises coming into force.
Regulated fares, which include season tickets, have increased by an average of 4.2 per cent, with the overall average rise for all tickets being 3.9 per cent.
At First Hull Trains, the average price increase is 1.3 per cent.
Mr Dunnett said: "It is important to stress that as an open- access operator we do not receive any subsidies whatsoever.
"We have tried to keep fare increases to a minimum and will be working across the coming months to continue to secure value for money for our customers."