New research released by Network Rail today suggests that 98 percent of Brits are planning to stay in the UK this August bank holiday, and well over two thirds (77 percent) do not want to venture too far from home.
Professor Isabellie Szmigin from Birmingham University’s business school, an expert in consumer behaviour, said: “Staycations are ever more popular and the August bank holiday sits as the top of the pile. Many people will have already taken their big summer holiday and just want a few days close to home, especially those with children getting ready for the autumn term.
“When you only have a few days, and it is the last bank holiday before Christmas, travelling abroad can be high risk and very tiring so opting for an easy, stress free solution is very appealing.”
But with a third of people (33 percent) still undecided as to whether to stay at home or venture out for a day trip or for the weekend, there are still plenty of travel plans to be made, with almost 80 percent of those who are keen to head out only willing to travel for up to two hours.
Britain’s rail network is open for business over the bank holiday weekend with some great destinations well within a two-hour reach. But with a £133m investment programme in full swing – aimed at building a bigger, better railway – potential passengers need to plan ahead and check before they travel as some lines, particularly those in and out of the capital, will see services heavily impacted. This record amount of rail investment work will lead to new services, thousands of extra seats to help relieve over-crowding, and new, faster trains running on a more reliable network.
Commenting, Francis Paonessa, Managing Director for all infrastructure projects at Network Rail said: “With so many people undecided on how they’ll spend their bank holiday weekend, a train-trip to somewhere new could be an appealing option.
“But do make sure you plan ahead as while our massive investment programme impacts comparatively small parts of the network, on some routes its impact is significant, particularly major routes into London.
“We’ll have more than 17,000 railway workers hard at work over the weekend building major upgrades that will transform journeys for millions in the months and years ahead.”
The weather will also play a significant part, as will traffic. Almost 60 percent of the 2,000 people surveyed cited traffic delays as the thing that put them off the most from travelling over the bank holiday – even more reason to explore the extent of Britain’s rail network.
Professor Isabellie Szmigin continued: “Of course weather is always an important factor for the impulse traveller with many more people holding off on making plans until the last minute.”
Dr Paonessa concluded: “After the bank holiday, passengers will be one step closer to experiencing the major benefits in the months ahead, with more to come in 2018 and 2019, as new fleets of trains, running on new and upgraded infrastructure, are introduced.”