Stations with surprisingly high passenger use

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swcovas

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The thread about small settlements with 2 stations got me thinking about (relatively)towns/villages with a surprisingly high footfall figure. In Wales we have a number of small villages with high usage on the Cambrian due to the schools traffic. Other thoughts?
 
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In Shropshire we have Cosford (though it's currently closed as NR are finding it difficult to erect platforms, those tricky things...) which although a small village, has the military base, the RAF museum and also a car park which people drive to from quite far around to then continue their journey into the West Midlands/London.

Then there's Gobowen, which is a village but its station is "for Oswestry" a town of 30,000 nearby.

And I'll throw in Church Stretton: population of 3,000 but station usage of around 120,000 a year. As Wikipedia puts it:

The station has a large number of passengers using it considering the town has a population of just 3000; it is the sixth most-used station in Shropshire (the fourth for the Shropshire Council area). The high usage can be explained by two reasons: the town is a popular tourist destination and many of its inhabitants travel to Shrewsbury and Ludlow for employment, education and shopping.
 

stut

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Arlesey has a population of around 5,000 (And Arlesey Church End, where the station is, is much less than that), yet registers in excess of 400k journeys a year, mostly to London. The crowds on the platform for the 0704 nonstop to KGX are impressive!

However, the station acts as a parkway for several larger towns: Stotfold, he low, Clifton, Shefford and others, no doubt helped by the de facto free car park along the verges of the proper car park!
 

MidnightFlyer

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Woking has 6, but p6 is only used by one PMH train on a Saturday morning and that's it.

Reading I assume because it's the biggest town in England, plus a massive interchange.
 

Cherry_Picker

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Surely any station with surprisingly high usage can be explained if you stop to look at the reasons why? I mean how many places are not nationally famous for anything but are in prime commuter land? How many places have huge numbers of students passing through? How many places are big junctions and/or important interchanges with lots of trains that also encourage locals to travel in larger numbers than they might be expected to? How many places tick multiple boxes?
 

321446

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Prittlewell. Probably has 2/3 of the footfall of Southend Victoria. No stats to back this up as it is only 2/3 of a mile from Southend town centre, but has open platforms, so not many tickets are sold in comparisson.
 

Ivo

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Woking vexes me. 2 platforms and nearly 9 million p/y!
Where the heck did you get that from? It does have an unusually high level for a town of its size - but considering its position in relation to the London area, and its interchange possibilities, it is understandable. The interchange aside it's no different to the likes of St Albans or Chelmsford.

Reading I assume because it's the biggest town in England, plus a massive interchange.
Not to mention its economic importance; it has thousands of commuters to London every day but also serves as the most important setlement in the main corridor for the country's massive and massively exapnding technological economy. Something tells me the bit that says "the biggest town in England" won't be true for much longer though - we can reasonably expect Reading to be bound for City Status three months from now.

Prittlewell. Probably has 2/3 of the footfall of Southend Victoria. No stats to back this up as it is only 2/3 of a mile from Southend town centre, but has open platforms, so not many tickets are sold in comparisson.
Not sure I agree. Victoria itself has an unreliable passenger count courtesy of Central; the two should be treated as one entity for the best effect. Prittlewell itself is one of the quieter stations in the town; compare it to Leigh-on-Sea and then tell me it is busy. After all, it isn't open on Sundays - and now, the Airport station will take away some of its traffic. Realistically, it's too close to Victoria to have a substantial passenger count as most would find it easier to use - and some that don't would use Rayleigh via the A127. In practice, its catchment area is actually quite large anyway; you get Prittlewell itself, some of Eastwood and Temple Sutton. Its catchment area is probably the second largest in the town, behind only Leigh-on-Sea.

Surely any station with surprisingly high usage can be explained if you stop to look at the reasons why? I mean how many places are not nationally famous for anything but are in prime commuter land? How many places have huge numbers of students passing through? How many places are big junctions and/or important interchanges with lots of trains that also encourage locals to travel in larger numbers than they might be expected to? How many places tick multiple boxes?
One could suggest that Bath has an unusually high level, even given its distance from London - but it has five million visitors a year, many of whom travel by train, and two Universities. If anything, its count is probably lower than it should be - and Oldfield Park more so. In this sense, Cherry_Picker is absolutely right.
 

Lrd

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One could suggest that Bath has an unusually high level, even given its distance from London - but it has five million visitors a year, many of whom travel by train, and two Universities. If anything, its count is probably lower than it should be - and Oldfield Park more so. In this sense, Cherry_Picker is absolutely right.
I'm always astounded by the amount of people who get on/off the train at Bath, every train is usually wedged, the Cardiff-Pompey services at least. Filton Abbey Wood surprised me as well.
 

Anon Mouse

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Bordesley? nominally a Parly but must get pretty busy when theres a match on.

Manors (ECML) also seems busier than one would expect!
 

Poolie

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I live right next to Seaton Carew. Since the local council withdrew the subsidy after 7 o' clock (1900hrs) there are no 'council' buses in the town.
Since then, I have used the train to get into town and back....£2.40 return. Late on not very busy, but I was on a course during the week for the 07.56 and there were about 15 passengers waiting to get on!!!
Use it or lose it.................remember Greatham:cry:
 

Wath Yard

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Having had a quick look at the ORR passenger figures I would say Balham and Earlsfield are surprisingly busy. Neither is a major interchange in London but both have higher passenger numbers than Coventry, the 11th, 12th or 13th largest city in the UK (depending on where you look).
 

Peter Mugridge

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I pass through Balham and Earlsfield very regularly, living in Epsom, and the platforms are always very populous. Both stations are in high population density areas.

At a guess, Raynes Park shows a very high figure as well... many trains out of Waterloo in the evening peak are packed solid until Raynes Park, whereupon a very high percentage of the passengers get off.
 

Wath Yard

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I pass through Balham and Earlsfield very regularly, living in Epsom, and the platforms are always very populous. Both stations are in high population density areas.
Yes, I passed through Earlsfield twice a day for over 5 years and it is a very busy station in the peak, however I still find it surprising that it has more passengers than Coventry.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Errr... most of my passes through are off peak, though, and there's always at least a couple of dozen passengers on each platform...
 

Michael.Y

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One could suggest that Bath has an unusually high level, even given its distance from London - but it has five million visitors a year, many of whom travel by train, and two Universities. If anything, its count is probably lower than it should be - and Oldfield Park more so. In this sense, Cherry_Picker is absolutely right.
Bath has a hugely successful Christmas Market (last year we were full and standing on HSTs to and from NWP), a premiership rugby team, is a large Roman heritage site and has some wonderful women drivers. Makes sense a lot of people would travel by train.... <D
 

Drsatan

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Romsey: population 15,000, station footfall between 2009 to 2010 413,000. The station seems to be busy at all times of the day, even on Sunday evenings (last week I counted at least 20 people waiting for the 2006 (ex Portsmouth Harbour) to Bristol Parkway, for a RRB to Cardiff Central)
 

John55

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Scanning the ORR data the two stations which surprised me in the top 200 were Lewes with 2.7M passengers and Maghull with 2.0M.

Places with populations of 16k and 22k repectively.
 

Ze Random One

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Romsey: population 15,000, station footfall between 2009 to 2010 413,000. The station seems to be busy at all times of the day, even on Sunday evenings (last week I counted at least 20 people waiting for the 2006 (ex Portsmouth Harbour) to Bristol Parkway, for a RRB to Cardiff Central)
Romsey does, however have the following attributes:
- It's quite wealthy
- Although it holds its own, there will be an element of commuter traffic into Southampton
- The bus service is atrocious, particularly heading west, with only one route providing Sunday daytime, and weekday evening service (to/from Southampton via Shirley)
- The local rail service is frequent (hourly), runs 7 days per week, early in the morning (from about 6am) until late in the evening (last departures after 11pm), which runs to/from almost all of the main employment, leisure and retail facilities in the area, and a number of local villages. Added to this there's the hourly express.

This adds up to a passenger base that can afford rail fares, but has few other options, particularly if they are without car.
 

exile

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The average number of journeys per person (counting double as in the station usage statistics) is about 40..... so a 10,000 population town should have a footfall of 400,000.... however outside the London commuter belt it's very rare to see figures in this area.
 
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