With the UK under strict lockdown for much of 2020, train services were understandably less busy.
But new figures show that six UK train stations did not have one single passenger for the year to the end of March 2021.
Passenger numbers across Britain dropped by 78% over the 12-month period due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
The six stations that had no passengers in 2020/21, mainly due to services being suspended because of COVID, were:
Sampford Courtenay, Devon
Stanlow and Thornton, Cheshire
Sugar Loaf, Powys
Publicity surrounding last year’s least-used station – Berney Arms in Norfolk – saw its passenger usage increase eightfold, from 42 to 348.
That was the biggest percentage increase of any station compared with the previous year.
On the other end of the scale, Stratford in east London was named Britain’s busiest railway station in the past year, with an estimated 14.0 million passengers travelling through it in the year to the end of March.
Stratford’s place on the top spot means it is the first time in 17 years that Waterloo was not the most-used station in the annual figures.
Just 12.2 million people used the station in 2020/21 – down from 86.9 million a year earlier, making it the fourth busiest station.
Stratford is a key interchange, enabling people to connect with other transport routes, including c2c, Greater Anglia, London Overground and TfL Rail mainline services.
The station also has London Underground and bus connections.
Birmingham New Street was the busiest station outside London, with 7.4 million passengers.
Scotland’s most used station was Glasgow Central (5.3 million), while Cardiff Central (2.0 million) took top spot in Wales.
The figures are based primarily on ticket sales.
ORR director of planning and performance Feras Alshaker said: “This year we have seen many railway stations with very few passenger entries and exits. However, we know that recent figures show leisure journeys are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, while there has been a slower increase in commuter journeys.”
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