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Brits bound by routine, but crave spontaneity

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Research released today by CrossCountry has found that more than half (58%) of Brits feel they follow too much routine in their lives, with 59% agreeing they would like to be more spontaneous.

According to the leading train company, despite the desire to be more open-minded, a remarkable 51% admit that they have never made a spontaneous life changing decision. Over a third (39%) said they had never even decided to travel to another town or city on the spur of the moment.

The research found that over a third (37%) of people are simply too scared to be spontaneous. A money-conscious 44% also said they were held back by the potential cost.

However, over two fifths (45%) of Brits said the ability to visit family and/ or friends would encourage them to act on impulse when it comes to last minute travel, and being able to make a surprise visit to see a boyfriend or girlfriend would spur on a romantic 16% of people.

To further encourage Brits to break off the shackles of routine, CrossCountry has extended the availability of Advance fares up to ten minutes before travel, allowing for more flexible travel.

Not only can passengers save money on their train fares, they can also avoid the queue at stations by booking online or via the CrossCountry mobile app and have their tickets sent straight to their handset. Passengers can also secure a free seat reservation.

When asked about where previous spontaneous travel decisions had led them, one respondent described how they ended up staying in France for a year after only going there because of a petrol strike in Sweden. Another decided to move to a different part of the country one evening, packing up the very next morning!

David Watkin, Commercial Director for CrossCountry said: "We know people feel their lives are bound by routine and they would prefer to live more spontaneously. With cheaper CrossCountry Advance fares available on the day of travel passengers now have the freedom to be more impulsive while still keeping a hold of the purse-strings."

Notes to editors

Research methodology:

Opinion Matters interviewed a random sample of 2,044 UK adults through its online panel between 13 December 2013 and 2 January 2014.  Further information is available at   

  • The CrossCountry network is the most extensive passenger rail franchise in Britain. Stretching from Aberdeen to Penzance, and from Stansted to Cardiff, it calls at over 100 stations. Based in Birmingham, CrossCountry connects seven of the Britain's 10 largest cities and delivers 295 services every weekday, equating to some 32 million passenger journeys a year. 
  • Examples of possible savings* using 'Advance on the Day' include:


Single Anytime fare

Single Off Peak fare

Single 'Advance on the Day' fare from**

Birmingham New Street to Manchester




Edinburgh to Newcastle




Bristol Temple Meads to Plymouth




* All prices quoted are Standard fares

**Advance on the Day prices quoted subject to availability

'Advance' tickets are discounted quota-controlled fares designed to encourage customers to travel on services where spare capacity is available and are a key factor in the growth in passenger journeys on Britain's railways. The allocation of 'Advance' tickets on each train is closely controlled to account for expected demand and these tickets can be purchased up to 12 weeks before a train's departure. Customers are still advised to book their journeys as far in advance as possible to secure the best price, as once the allocation has been exhausted then only full priced tickets can be purchased. 'Advance on the Day' tickets are available on all longer distance direct journeys using only CrossCountry services and where allocation remains, and only by booking through CrossCountry's mobile App or call centre, or at


CrossCountry started operating on 11 November 2007. The franchise, which is the most extensive in the UK, will run until 31 March 2016. For further information on CrossCountry services and future franchise plans log on to

CrossCountry is part of the Arriva group, which is owned by Deutsche Bahn. Arriva is a leading pan-European public transport operators with more than 42,000 employees and operations across 12 European countries. The link to Arriva is The link to Deutsche Bahn is

Like CrossCountry on Facebook at

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CrossCountry bookings

Passengers can buy tickets for any rail journey in Britain, with any train company and with no booking fee at or via the free CrossCountry Train Tickets app.Download the app by visiting your app store or by texting TRAVEL to 87080.

CrossCountry facts and figures

PASSENGERS CARRIED: Over 30 million passenger journeys a year anticipated
ANNUAL TRAIN MILEAGE: Approximately 16 million
EMPLOYEES: Approximately 1,600
LONGEST TRAIN SERVICE: 08.20 Aberdeen to Penzance (774 miles)

Select this link to view the Press Release PDF

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