Seven First Great Western routes have been named in a report of the top 10 branchlines to see the most significant passenger growth over the past year.
All six lines to seaside resorts in Devon and Cornwall as well as the Severn Beach Line featured, with the Atlantic Coast Line from Par to Newquay topping the bill, with a 55 per cent increase in passenger footfall.
This surge, which was revealed in the research gathered by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), has been put down to recession-hit Brits opting for beach holidays over fights abroad as well as investment to increase the frequency and capacity of local services.
The figures are better than those recorded during the days of steam, when the Cornish Riviera as a holiday destination was in its prime, which is great news for us.
First Great Western Regional Manager for the West of England, Julian Crow, said: “All the signs are that this summer is going to be even busier than last year when we saw significant increases.
“It is great news for everyone. In many local seaside resorts the growth means more visitors than ever are arriving by rail rather than adding to road congestion.”