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Waterloo is no longer Britain’s busiest railway station after the Covid pandemic caused commuters to stagnate.


Stratford railway station in east London overtook Waterloo as Britain’s busiest last year as the pandemic plunged passenger numbers to their lowest in 150 years.

The number of trips fell 78 percent to 388 million trips in the year to March, compared to 1,739 million trips in 2019-2020. The numbers haven’t been so low since 1872, when the numbers started.

It was also the first time in 17 years that Waterloo, which serves a number of commuter cities southwest of London, did not top the list of most frequently used terminals – down from 86.9 million in 2019-20 to 12.2 million.

Stratford railway station in east London overtook Waterloo as Britain’s busiest last year as the pandemic plunged passenger numbers to their lowest in 150 years.

Stratford, a major exchange, has recorded nearly 14 million trips, although this is down 67 percent.

Stratford, a major exchange, has recorded nearly 14 million trips, although this is down 67 percent.

Stratford, a major exchange, has recorded nearly 14 million trips, although this is down 67 percent.

Figures from the Bureau of Railways and Roads, which are mainly based on ticket sales, showed that only five stations had registered more than 10 million trips, while six had not registered any stops at all.

“While leisure flights have almost returned to pre-pandemic levels, there has been a slower increase in passenger flights,” said Firas Al-Shaker of the department.

Birmingham New Street was the busiest terminal outside London, with 7.4 million passengers.

Glasgow Central Station was the most frequently used in Scotland (5.3 million), while Cardiff Central (2.0 million) took first place in Wales.

The numbers are based primarily on ticket sales.

It was the first time in 17 years that Waterloo, which serves a number of commuter cities southwest of London, did not top the list of most frequently used terminals as the number of trips fell from 86.9 million in 2019-20 to 12.2 million.

It was the first time in 17 years that Waterloo, which serves a number of commuter cities southwest of London, did not top the list of most frequently used terminals – down from 86.9 million in 2019-20 to 12.2 million.

Al-Shaker added: “We have seen a drastic change, especially in London, in the stations that people use the most.

Stratford, Highbury, Islington, Clapham Junction, Barking, East Croydon have replaced Kings Cross, St Pancras, Euston and Paddington in the top ten, underscoring their importance as vital stations and intersections, and connecting key workers to subway and bus services for travel.

Andy Bagnall, general manager of the Rail Delivery Group, the industry body, said: “The station utilization figures show how the rail industry kept people moving during the first year of the pandemic.

Stratford, Highbury, Islington, Clapham Junction (pictured), Barking and East Croydon have replaced Kings Cross, St Pancras, Euston and Paddington for the top 10 busiest

Stratford, Highbury, Islington, Clapham Junction (pictured), Barking and East Croydon have replaced Kings Cross, St Pancras, Euston and Paddington for the top 10 busiest

Some of the entries in the list reflect where people such as key employees have been traveling from as well as accelerate changes in how people travel after the pandemic.

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

Six stations had no passengers in 2020/21, mainly due to the suspension of services due to the virus crisis.

They were: Abrerich, Gwenned; Bisdale, Hyland; Lanpieder, Gwenned. Sampford Courtenay, Devon; Stanlow and Thornton, Cheshire; and Sugar Love, Bowies.

Publicity surrounding the least-used terminal last year – Bernie Arms in Norfolk – saw passenger usage increase eightfold, from 42 to 348.

This was the largest increase of any station compared to the previous year.



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