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Home   Medway   News   Article

The Kings Ferry carries record number of 560,000 passengers in 2013 as more commuters leave expensive rail travel

08 January 2014
by Chris Price

Record numbers of Kent commuters opted to travel to London by coach last year amid hikes in the cost of rail fares.

The Kings Ferry carried more than 560,000 passengers on the service in 2013.

Gillingham-based Kings Ferry carried record commuter numbers in 2013

Gillingham-based Kings Ferry carried record commuter numbers in 2013

The record figures, revealed by parent company National Express, come just days after rail operator Southeastern raised fares by an average 2.8% for 2014.

The Kings Ferry commercial director Danny Elford

The Kings Ferry commercial director Danny Elford

An annual pass with the Kings Ferry from its base in Gillingham costs £2,725, whereas a yearly train ticket from the same location costs £3,784.

Launched nearly 30 years ago, the Kings Ferry runs 36 daily coaches to central London from Medway, Sittingbourne and the Isle of Sheppey.

The firm has seen commuter numbers swell by 8% in the last three years, which has also been put down to guaranteed seats and new facilites like power sockets and coach tracking apps.

Commercial director Danny Elford said: “More and more people are being converted to coach commuting each year as they wake up to just how good an option the coach is to travel to work.

“Since they are guaranteed a seat, passengers can relax or work using the onboard power sockets, safe in the knowledge that they won’t have to stand or be crammed into a packed carriage.

“Coach commuting is reliable too as all vehicles are equipped with real time tracking, allowing commuters to check the location of their service via web and mobile devices.”

In November the Kings Ferry launched a new coach commuter service running from north Somerset to Bristol.

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