A year on from devastating floods the draw of the region is still as strong

Virgin Trains boss Richard Branson
Virgin Trains boss Richard Branson
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New figures from Virgin Trains show that over half a million journeys have been taken on trains through Lancashire and into Cumbria in the last 12 months.

A little over a year from the devastating floods of 2015, the region is proving as attractive as ever.

The latest figures show that the number of journeys taken with Virgin Trains on the West Coast Main Line between London and Cumbrian destinations have increased by a third in the last five years.

Oxenholme (the gateway to the Lake District) is the most popular destination in Cumbria with 55 per cent of journeys (283,000) to the region being made between London and Oxenholme in the last year.

Nearly 159,000 journeys were made between London and Carlisle and 75,000 to and from Penrith (the North of the Lakes) in the same period.

Mirroring this increase in customer numbers, the latest figures from Cumbria Tourism’s Visitor Attraction Survey show an increase of seven per cent in the number of visitors to attractions in the region last year compared to 2015.

Within the last year, Virgin Trains has introduced m-tickets across all routes along the west coast, extended the booking horizon to six months, introduced its on-board entertainment portal, BEAM, and achieved the highest level of punctuality since it began running trains on the West Coast Main Line 20 years ago.

Anna Doran, General Manager at Virgin Trains on the west coast, said: “Virgin Trains is proud to serve Cumbria and these figures show just how attractive the region is to visitors. The floods of 2015 had a devastating effect for many Cumbrian residents and businesses, so we’ve worked hard, alongside others in the region, to get the message out that Cumbria is open. These figures are a testament to the resilience of Cumbria, and the tenacity of local residents and businesses.”