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Route Gives Substance to Rail Media

After outdoor advertising research body Postar re-launched as Route earlier this year, the first figures for rail advertising sites have been compiled, joining existing marketing studies on roadside, bus and the London Underground.

Presenting an analysis of railway advertising has been made possible through a combination of GPS, passenger and observational data, working to produce a pioneering virtual station model. The resulting platform can pinpoint passenger points of interest and paths of circulation, revealing facts like there are 50,000 different routes to get through London’s Victoria station.

Route MD, James Whitmore, said: “We’re delighted to be launching data for the rail network. It’s really tricky to work out how to track people as they move around labyrinthine spaces such as the large station termini. The solution is highly sophisticated. Importantly, it also offers the scope to adapt to changes yet to come.”

The new rail figures include an additional 70,000 advertising sites spanning 775 stations, with Build, KBH On-Train Media and T4media added to existing media owners JCDecaux and CBS Outdoor. The advanced system will give marketers the chance to compare and combine audiences and formats, thus understanding the outdoor landscape better. T4media COO, Gordon Evans, pointed out Route’s ability to measure “our niche media” against others.

Spencer Berwin, JCDecaux MD, said: “The rail environment has been transformed as stations have become retail and travel hubs. Route will not only tell us that an audience of 2 million pass through Waterloo each week, but will also reveal where their journey began – whether that’s from London boroughs such as Kingston or the affluent Surrey commuter belt. By defining and understanding the rail audience, brands will benefit from even more effective and innovative media planning, part of a new era for Outdoor advertising.”

Route’s rail research highlights an array of key, useful facts, and also reveals the most accessed stations in the UK. Waterloo station continues to lead the way with over 2.09 million, with London stations including Euston, Stratford and Liverpool Street hogging the following places. Birmingham New Street is the most popular station outside the capital, with 675,536 weekly accesses. Narrowing the figures down to travellers alone, Glasgow Central also enters the top 10 in favour of Clapham Junction.