‘Let’s get back on track’ – the rail industry welcomes commuters and business travellers back with its latest campaign
- 15% of people bought a ticket after seeing the Let’s get back on track campaign last year
- Rail journeys are currently at 65% of pre-pandemic levels
- Car usage is 87% of pre-pandemic levels
28 February, London: Following on from the success of its biggest consumer rail campaign since the start of the pandemic, the rail industry has gone live with the next instalment of ‘Let’s get back on track’.
The campaign which primarily targeted leisure travellers, ran from August – October 2021, saw an average of 15% of people buying a ticket and an average recall of 54%. So, with journeys at 65% of pre-pandemic levels and car usage at 87% after Omicron, the rail industry sees a strong opportunity for a second wave of the campaign, this time with a greater emphasis on business travellers and commuters and the benefits of Rail vs Car.
Launching today with video on demand, radio, out of home, paid digital and public relations the latest campaign, which has a broader target audience, is designed to inspire a nation-wide return to rail by reminding everyone that nothing connects us to the people, places and things we love the most like rail.
Highlighting how rail is an enabler of connection, the creative brings to life the different journeys people take by using the train every day; heading back to the office, spontaneous meet ups and being able to explore with loved ones.
Last year leisure journeys bounced back to over 100% on some routes but with employers remaining reluctant to mandate a return to the office business and commuter journeys remain down at 30% and 50% respectively.
Encouraging people back onto trains is vital for local economies. Research by WPI Economics on behalf of RDG shows that train commuters spend an average £49 per trip on things like shops and restaurants.
To support commuters as they begin to return to their place of work the industry worked with the government to introduce the Flexi Season ticket, which provides a discount when travelling into the office two or three days a week. Rail customers can also enjoy free and exclusive discounts when they sign up to National Rail’s commuter reward website.
The rail industry is monitoring timetables closely, so that passengers can travel with confidence, running services to fit changed travel patterns and ensuring that rail is an attractive choice. This is in addition to train companies carrying out extra cleaning, ensuring trains are well ventilated with 8 out of 10 carriages having systems that refresh the air every six to nine minutes, and by improving information about how busy trains are so people can avoid the busiest times.
Speaking about the new campaign, Merel van den Boomen, marketing strategy director at Rail Delivery Group, said: “Following on from the great success of the rail industry's biggest consumer rail campaign since the pandemic, we knew it was important for us to evolve the ‘Let’s get back on track’ campaign to help us drive rail recovery for the broader audience yet to return after the Omicron surge. Encouraging businesses and commuters to take the train will boost the economy and the environment, helping to get the country back on track.”
Notes to editors
About Let’s get back on track: The ‘Let’s get back on track campaign’ is at the heart of the rail industry recovery programme, developed by RDG in collaboration with the Rail Revenue Recovery Group (RRRG) and TOCs Commercial and Marketing representatives with DfT’s consultation throughout the planning stages. This is the biggest consumer rail campaign in a generation with a significant media investment behind it, to allow the rail industry to reach key audiences and drive consideration of train travel. The second wave of the campaign aims to launch on 28th February via a broad mix of media channels to ensure national coverage.