Associate Feature: LNER, the most popular and sustainable way to travel
Our LNER Azuma trains are famous for being the most environmentally friendly mode of public transport. Research now shows LNER carries more customers than air between Edinburgh and London (57 compared to 43 per cent when the two are compared). Our Azuma trains emit 4.3kg of carbon per passenger between the two capitals – 97 per cent less than a flight. By choosing LNER over flying more than 20,000 tonnes of carbon emissions are saved, an enormous benefit to the environment.
For the past five consecutive quarters LNER has recorded the fastest recovery of any franchised train operator, and now we have more customers travelling with us than before the pandemic. This recovery has come during a time of disruption, be it because of industrial action or the extreme weather events we experienced during the summer forcing a one day closure of the East Coast Main Line.
We do not take our customers for granted; we know that the paying public will choose the mode of travel that is best for them. So, as well as being fast, affordable and sustainable, we all also need to make sure we continue to deliver a service that exceeds their expectations. Our focus on the customer has led to major innovations. Onboard we have implemented ‘Seat Sure’, guaranteeing a seat for the duration of a customer’s journey; Project Horizon, allowing customers to book six months in advance; a new catering offer in First Class and at-seat ordering in Standard, providing delicious, locally-sourced food for all.
These innovations are all focused on delivering for the customer. ‘Seat Sure’ gives confidence and reassurance to customers; Project Horizon allows tickets to be bought as far in advance as possible for the best price; and our new at seat catering offer has proved immensely popular.
LNER is only as strong as the destinations and communities we serve. That is why we will continue to champion our destinations from the Borders to the Highlands. It is unquestionable that our route in Scotland boasts amazing locations. For those reasons we have increased our efforts to partner with destinations to support visitor economies in Scotland and promote rail as the best way to get there. We recently brought everyone together at our first UK Visitor Economy Summit in Edinburgh. The objective is to both support the environment by encouraging more people to take the train, and help to preserve these incredible places and their local economies. By doing so we support both the Scottish economy and Scotland’s net zero ambitions.
In order to ensure that we can continue to respond to what our customers want, we need to achieve increased capacity on the East Coast Main Line. That is why we at LNER are so supportive of a transformational timetable uplift, one that will see faster journey times and more seats – including extra services between Edinburgh and London. A new timetable will allow us to welcome even more customers onboard, benefiting the environment by attracting even more people to experience and enjoy rail.
David Horne is Managing Director at LNER.
This article is sponsored by LNER.