Sun. Dec 5th, 2021

Birmingham New Street
Birmingham New Street

Data from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) showed that the station had 7.3 million passenger entrances and exits over 1 April last year and 31 March this year compared to 46.5 million between April 2019 and March 2020 and 47 , 9 million in 2018-19, the last full year calculated before the pandemic hit.

The figures also show Wolverhampton station, replacing Birmingham International at the most used stations in the whole region.

That comes as passenger numbers across the UK plummeted by 78 per cent over the 12-month period due to the pandemic, the industry body estimated.

The most used station in the whole country was named as Stratford, East London, which recorded nearly 14 million entrances and exits during the period. It marked the first time in 17 years that London Waterloo was not the most used station – with the largest drop in passenger consumption from around 12 million entrances and exits compared to 86 million in 2019-2020.

Passengers’ entrances and exits at West Midlands stations show how travel was affected by shutdowns and measures to work from home:

Coventry – 1.7 million in 2020-21, 7.8 million in 2019-20

Birmingham Moor Street – 1.5 million in 2020-21, 7.2 million in 2019-20

Wolverhampton – 994,634 in 2020-21, 5.1 million in 2019-20

Birmingham Snow Hill – 842,300 in 2020-21, 5.6 million in 2019-20

Stafford – 574,200 in 2020-21, 2.5 million in 2019-20

Birmingham International – 512,176 in 2020-21, 6.5 million in 2019-20

Feras Alshaker, Director of Planning and Performance at ORR, said: “Through 2020-2021, the railways remained an important service for the people who had to travel during a year affected by the pandemic.

“Birmingham New Street has consistently performed as the only station outside London on the top 10 list and it is clear that it remained a key destination for many passengers throughout the year, and these statistics also underline its importance as an important stop and exchange for people across the Midlands.

“We have seen hundreds of railway stations with very few entrances and exits for passengers. However, we know that recent figures show that leisure travel is almost back to pre-pandemic levels and there is a slower increase in commuter travel.”

Six stations in the UK had no passengers in 2020/21, mainly due to services suspended due to Covid-19. It included Abererch, Gwynedd; Beasdale, Highlands; Llanbedr, Gwynedd; Sampford Courtenay, Devon; Stanlow and Thornton, Cheshire; and Sugar Loaf, Powys.

The public around last year’s least used station – Berney Arms in Norfolk – saw passenger consumption increase eight times, from 42 to 348. It was the largest percentage increase of any station compared to the year before.

Andy Bagnall, Director General of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “The station usage figures show how the railway industry kept people moving in the first year of the pandemic.

“Some of the items on the list reflect where people as key employees traveled from, and also the acceleration of changes in how people travel after the pandemic.

“Railway companies are working together to welcome people back, and the recent increase in passengers continues to both reflect and support the nation’s recovery.”

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