Waterloo is the busiest station, but rail travel is declining

Passengers at Waterloo

Passengers return to Waterloo (Image: James Manning/PA Wire)

Official figures show that railroads are moving back to pre-pandemic levels.

London Waterloo is again the country’s busiest railway station, according to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), as commuters recover from cuts in services caused by the coronavirus.

It was used by an estimated 41.4 million passengers in the year to the end of March – up from 12.2 million in the previous 12 months but still under half the 2019-2020 estimate of 86.9 million.

London Victoria retained its position as the second busiest station with 36.8 million entries and exits. London Bridge stayed in third place with 33.3 million.

Glasgow Central remained Scotland’s busiest train station with 15.3 million passengers – up from 5.3 million last year but down from 32.5 million two years ago.

Cardiff Central retained its status as the busiest in Wales with 7.5 million entries and exits – more than triple the 2 million in 2020-21, although it was less than 12.7 million in 2019-2020.

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Feras Alshaker, ORR’s director of planning and performance, said there was still a long way to go but added: “It is encouraging to see passengers returning to rail after a difficult time for the industry during the pandemic to travel.”

The figures come after the RMT union announced eight days of strikes over the bank holiday – leading to its general secretary Mick Lynch being dubbed the “Grinch”. The union, which wants a seven percent pay rise, also plans to ban overtime from December 18 to January 2.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch (Image: Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

After accusing government ministers of blocking a deal, Mr Lynch met Transport Secretary Mark Harper for talks yesterday but said: “If we call off the strikes we will never reach an agreement.” Mr Harper said there were “common points” to end the dispute.

Meanwhile, strike action was called for London Underground stations today – including the King’s Cross St Pancras, Euston, Victoria and Heathrow terminals. The Aslef drivers’ union is staging a nationwide strike at 16 rail operators tomorrow.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/11/25/waterloo-is-busiest-station-but-rail-passenger-numbers-are-down-17824716/ Waterloo is the busiest station, but rail travel is declining

Justin Scacco

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