About Passenger Transport and Travel

Passenger Transport

The public is using public transport in rapidly increasing numbers.  38 percent more people are travelling by rail compared with ten years ago (2001-2011).  Bus travel in London has risen by 36 percent over the same period – and whilst it has not risen outside London, there is still a real shortage of drivers across the country.  Tram, light rail and Metro traffic has grown substantially (5.5% 2009-2011). Rail travel is at its highest level for fifty years (1.4 billion in 2011). There is a growth of 7.6% from 2009 to 2011 alone and we don’t need statistics to tell us that air travel has grown enormously over the last decade, with constant demands for more frequent services and expansion of airports and runways.

If you add in taxis & private hire and coach travel, we can see that the passenger transport sector is both large and varied.  It accounts for 735,000 jobs and very importantly, it is a vital industry in supporting all other economic sectors. The Government measures the contribution of passenger transport at around £23.6 billion to the UK’s Gross Value Added (GVA), around 2.5% of the UK total. However, the workforce declined between 2009 and 2010 by 2.5% (against the overall UK workforce increasing by 0.15% over the same period).

The sector has fared well despite the recent economic downturn as the overall growth and economic contribution demonstrates. The increased consumer demand for travel (for whatever purpose) coupled with continued public sector investment have meant that passenger transport has turned in a strong economic performance. Succesive Governments have invested in the passenger transport infrastructure as it is seen as a key catalyst for growth, jobs and social inclusion.


The travel sector is a huge contributor to the UK economy. In 2010, overseas visitors made nearly 30 million visits to the UK and UK residents made nearly 56 million trips abroad. Couple this with nearly 120 million domestic trips being taken in the UK and you get some idea of the size of the industry. In 2012, Visit Britain expected nearly 31 million visitors to the UK who spent an estimated £17.6 billion.

So, with statistics like that, the travel industry is very often much bigger than people think! There are lots of different job opportunities and a wide range of careers suiting people from different backgrounds with a variety of skills. There are some great opportunities to progress from entry level jobs into some real specialisms and then onto senior management. Travel is a world-wide industry, so your career can take you all over the globe if you wish!

The last few years have been tough for the travel industry. The UK economy has struggled and people watch their expenditure particularly on holidays and travel. But, research indicates that people are starting to spend on travel again as their futures seem more certain and companies increase their business travel as they do more and more business overseas.

In short, the UK travel industry is always going to need staff and current estimates are that it will need 100,000 people every year for the next few years!