Waterloo is the busiest station, but the number of rail passengers is down

Waterloo is the busiest station, but the number of rail passengers is down

Passengers at Waterloo

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

The railways are in the process of returning to pre-pandemic levels, according to official figures.

London Waterloo is once again the country’s busiest station as commuters recover from coronavirus-related service cuts, according to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

It was used by around 41.4 million passengers in the year to the end of March, up from 12.2 million in the previous 12 months, but still below half the estimate of 86, 9 million in 2019-2020.

London Victoria maintained its position as the second busiest station with 36.8 million entries and exits. London Bridge remained third with 33.3 million.

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

Cardiff Central retained its status as the busiest city in Wales, with 7.5 million in and out – more than three times the 2 million in 2020-21, although down from 12, 7 million in 2019-2020.

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

The figures come after the RMT union announced an eight-day walkout over the festive period – leading to its general secretary Mick Lynch being branded a ‘Grinch’. The union, which wants a 7% wage increase, also plans a ban on overtime from December 18 to January 2.

Mick Lynch, RMT General Secretary

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

After accusing government ministers of blocking a deal, Mr Lynch yesterday met Transport Secretary Mark Harper for talks but said: ‘If we call off the strikes we will never get a settlement.’ Mr Harper said there was “common ground” to end the dispute.

Meanwhile, a strike has been called today at London Underground stations including King’s Cross St Pancras, Euston, Victoria and Heathrow terminals. Drivers’ union Aslef is organizing a nationwide strike across 16 train operators tomorrow.

Contact our press team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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