The slower return of commuters aboard trains could cost London’s hospitality sector £2.3bn, warned membership body Rail Delivery Group.
Data from the group revealed that commuters into London are slower when it comes to getting back to the office, as on 41 per cent of pre-pandemic train commuters have returned, compared with 54 per cent outside of the capital.
As commuters spend on average £26 each trip, London’s lag could lead to the city’s leisure sector going from £16.7bn of passenger spending to £6.8bn.
“We all want to support the amazing cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs that make London such a great place to live and work,” said Rail Delivery Group’s director general Andy Bagnall.
“Unlike other modes of transport, train travel delivers so much more than a journey for the capital – it connects Londoners to jobs and opportunities, tackles congestion and makes the air in our city cleaner.”
If commuting levels were to catch up with pre-Covid levels, just the capital’s hospitality sector would gain around £43.5m per week.
In the last five days, Transport for London’s (TfL) ridership numbers have increased, with TfL registering on Sunday a 0.3 per cent increase on tube ridership compared with last week.
Throughout the week, tube ridership levels floated between 59.6 and 73.3 of pre-Covid levels. Bus ridership has instead fluctuated between 72.9 and 79.3 per cent compared with before the pandemic.