Eurostar has posted a set of healthy first half figures, as soaring fuel costs and growing environmental awareness sees consumers shift into letting the train take the strain. Ticket sales from January to June 08 were up almost a quarter against the same period last year, and passenger numbers up almost a fifth.Growth in traveller numbers was greatest in towns and cities to the north of London, which now enjoy access to Eurostar’s new London station, St Pancras International, and its 186mph cross-Channel services on High Speed 1, the UK’s first high-speed line.
Ticket sales between January and June 2008 totalled £368.8 million - an increase of 24.7% against the same period in 2007. Traveller numbers reached 4.63 million - an 18.3% year-on-year increase.
High-speed rail fares have been largely unaffected by the rising oil prices that have forced airlines to raise ticket prices on both short-haul and long-haul flights.
The introduction of good value through fares to the Continent from over 130 British towns and cities has been a key factor driving demand in the UK regions. Eurostar and nine UK train operators now sell fares for travel to Paris, Brussels and Disneyland Resort Paris. UK travellers can also buy through fares to other destinations across Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany.