By Max Clarke

January welcomes not only the New Year, but also the very unwelcome news that UK rail prices- already Europe's most expensive- are to increase by another 13%.

SME's had previously tightened their expenditure at the end of 2009 feeling that UK rail travel was poor value for money according to The National Passenger Survey conducted by Passenger Focus.

Quno, the web's first straightforward rail search and booking engine, aims to help support SME's by discouraging them from purchasing tickets on the day of travel by booking in advance online.

Although overall fares are to increase, much of this price growth will affect the more expensive tickets, with the cheapest tickets remaining unchanged. Astonishingly, however, more than two thirds of all UK rail ticket purchases are still bought on the day - not taking advantage of huge savings.

The NPS survey highlights the vital need most SME's have for rail travel with 63% of companies’ employees regularly travelling to client meetings, and 38% travelling to conferences and training courses. However, these new fare increases needn't put additional pressure on SME's looking to cut costs.

Jeremy Acklam, UK MD of says; “The best deals are available if you book in advance when it’s possible to get up to 80% off the standard rail ticket price, even booking the day before can prove to be a huge cost cutting exercise".

Along with large savings, the site also addresses findings that a fifth of SME employees claim they do not have a good understanding on how to get the best ticket. Quno offers an innovative platform, advanced technology, improved functionality and exclusive tools to ensure the 31%-50% reductions called for by businesses are already available.