Network Rail has reported a 3.5% increase in total sales to £166m for July-September 2016, with its performance driven by coffee shop and food-on-the-go purchases.

Like-for-like station retail sales rose for the 18th successive quarter with 31% of station users – over 64 million people - visiting a station retailer in the period.

Coffee shops and ‘food on the go’ purchases showed the strongest growth with the equivalent of 4.8 million cups of coffee sold in the quarter while Asian food outlets and grocery sales were also strong sector performers, with 10% and 6% growth recorded respectively.

Overall sales growth was strongest in London with King’s Cross (+13%) and Paddington (+9%) leading the way. Outside London, Manchester (+10%), Birmingham (+8%) and Glasgow (+6%) also performed well.

David Biggs, Network Rail’s managing director of property, said: “The trend in our results reflect the changes in how consumers are choosing to shop. Busy commuters and other people who use our stations want to be able to shop at a time and place that works for them.

“That is why the upgrades we’ve made and are continuing to make to stations across Britain are proving so popular. Station retail investment is improving stations for our customers, while crucially generating vital funds to reinvest back into the railway.”