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THE REVIEW ›› ON THE GROUND  East Coast's capital share


NEW research suggests 88 per cent of businesses could save money by choosing to travel by train instead of the plane. The survey by Transform


Scotland found that almost nine out of ten Scottish businesses could save money by taking the train instead of flying between Edinburgh and London. Figures also reveal that train


operator East Coast has increased its share of the Edinburgh to London market to 24 per cent for the calendar year to date. The insights come from the


report, On Track for business: Why Scottish business should try the train, which also found that 12 per cent of businesses that currently travel by train with East Coast receive better value for money than their counterparts who fly. It quantifies this added value as being worth an estimated £217 for each return journey between Edinburgh and London.


East Coast's commercial and


customer service director, Peter Williams, says, "The news is a positive reflection on the changes introduced in May 2011 following the launch of our new timetable and our first class complimentary food and drink service, which has led to an increase in first class travel by 39 per cent between the two capital cities.


"Train travel offers a more


flexible, high-quality working environment for business travellers, with spacious accommodation, wifi access, food and refreshments served directly at seat, as well as the ability to conduct effective face-to-face meetings on-board, which make it the perfect 'mobile office' that planes simply can't offer,” says Williams.


READY, STEADY, GO WITH EUROPCAR


EUROCAR has launched a new fast-track service designed to offer business travellers a slicker, more efficient hire car pick-up. The new 'e:Ready' service cuts


out the need for time-consuming admin on arrival and is available at many Europcar locations in the UK and across Europe. Business travellers can jump the queue at Europcar outlets by using dedicated 'Ready Service'


counters and need only show their credit card used for the booking and their driving licence in order to collect their vehicle and get on the road. The only conditions of the


Europcar eReady service are that customers set up a Europcar ID at the point of booking and the rental is paid for online. Bookings must be made no less than 48 hours before the rental.


MEET & GREET GROWTH


AIRPORT parking specialist Purple Parking has reported a year on year increase in the popularity of its meet and greet valet parking services with a 43 per cent rise in bookings at Heathrow. The increasingly popular service accounted for 27 per cent of all bookings made in the first seven months of 2011, a figure that has risen to 34 per cent in 2012. Luton airport parking saw the highest increase, with meet and greet bookings up 223 per cent. Purple Parking says that


while its meet and greet services cost on average around £40 per week more than its regular park and ride service, the cost is similar to each airport's official on-site parking systems. Oliver Inwards, head of online at Purple Parking says that although some companies and consumers are suffering with finances, "they are still willing to put extra funding towards the little luxuries". "Our competitively-priced


meet and greet service means that travellers don’t need to concern themselves with securing a parking space or tackling public transport,” he says. Purple Parking is the UK’s largest airport parking operator, with services at over 23 airports across the UK.


Recognising individuals and teams within corporates, HBAs, travel management companies and travel suppliers whose professionalism and business excellence make them stand out from their industry peers.


www.thepeopleawards.co.uk


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