Small business rail travel to hubs outside London jumps by 65%

Brighton has seen biggest growth in small business rail travel (230%), followed by Swindon (183%) and Oxford (182%)

Small and medium business travel on rail routes to a number of growing hubs outside of London has increased by up to 65% since 2012, according to data from Trainline for Business.

The report has revealed the top five most active cities for small business rail travel, with Brighton having seen the most significant growth at 230%, followed by Swindon (183%), Oxford (182%), Peterborough (166%) and Northampton (130%).

Leamington Spa (121%) and Bristol (110%) have also witnessed a boom in small business rail travel, suggesting companies are taking advantage of increased mobility and interconnectivity between locations, as well as lower costs.

Recent research from Virgin Trains claimed that 60% of UK workers find it easier to work on the train than a plane, bus or car.

Sophie Krishnan, general manager business and ancillary at Trainline, said: “We’ve seen notable growth in small business travel nationally and some areas in particular are experiencing high levels of activity, pointing to the fact that more and more of these businesses are choosing to be based outside of London.”

Alasdair Rae, senior lecturer in urban studies and planning at the University of Sheffield, commented:

“With cheaper rents, quick access to the capital and highly skilled local labour markets, many small businesses appear to be taking advantage of towns and cities such as Brighton, Swindon, Oxford and Peterborough.

“Yes, the capital remains the brightest star in the UK economy, but there is a constellation of smaller towns and cities upon which our economy also depends.”

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