Trivia: Large towns in UK with no railway station

Ken H

Established Member
Joined
11 Nov 2018
Messages
2,122
Location
in Greece on holiday
West Bridgford. Largish and prosperous population, but quite close to Nottingham station - which I assume is the reason it never had its own station. It used to have the Nottingham to Melton line running through it.
surprising. there was a railway there, crossing Bridgeford Road. You can still see it here.
https://goo.gl/maps/PhWvZ2Yiixq9BAh87
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

NorthernSpirit

Established Member
Joined
21 Jun 2013
Messages
1,816
In Yorkshire Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike , Holmfirth, Tadcaster and Wath-upon-Dearne are all without a rail station
There is also Queensbury, Stocksbridge, Ossett, Otley, Ripon, Hawes, Grassington, Helmsley, Easingwold, Pocklington, Market Weighton, Dinnington, Ripponden, Wetherby, Stamford Bridge, Withernsea and Hornsea. They did have railway stations in the past but have long gone. The platforms are still in situ at Stamford Bridge and at Hawes, the station building is still in situ at Pocklington, there is also the remains of a semaphore post at the site of Cleckheaton Central.

Oldham has a population over 100,000 but no heavy rail stations in the town since the conversion to trams.
The nearst station to Oldham now is Mills Hill. If the station has a large enough car park could it warrant it to become a Parkway station i.e. Oldham Parkway.

Aren't Salford Crescent and Salford Central in Salford anyway?
Salford is a seperate city and isn't part of the city of Manchester which many people think. To me both Crescent and Central are in Salford.
 

DavidGrain

Member
Joined
29 Dec 2017
Messages
922
Talking of West Bridgford my only knowledge of the place from a transport point of view was as a boy on my Midland Red day anywhere tickets I explored the Midlands and I remember on my Nottingham trip seeing West Bridgford Urban District Council buses in the Market Square, one of the few UDCs to have corporation buses.
 

Bevan Price

Established Member
Joined
22 Apr 2010
Messages
4,781
This has been posted previously, and the population figures were from 2013, so may have changed a bit since then. This list only applies to England:

List edited on 25 Sept. 2019
(Ilkeston & Kenilworth deleted - now have stations, although Ilkeston is some distance from the town centre.)

Towns without stations.

The "official" definitions of towns & their boundaries have changed over the years, especially in the 1974 reorganisation (Whitehall meddling) in which various towns & villages were lumped together into metropolitan boroughs or other units deemed an "ideal" size by Whitehall. For example, Hanley is a fairly large town with no station, but I could not locate a recent population separate from the combined "City of Stoke On Trent".

Also, information on Wikipedia is not always reliable. The following is an attempt to determine the population of towns, according to "traditional" boundaries, which have no station in or near the "town centre". Separate lists show towns with stations near the edge of the town, and towns with trams but no "mainline" railway station. Populations rounded to the nearest "thousand".

1. No station:-
Wythenshawe 86,000 (Technically part of Manchester, so should be deleted)
Gosport 80,000
Washington (Co. Durham) 53,000
Leigh (Lancs.) 44,000
West Bridgford 44,000
Skelmersdale 39,000
Blyth (Northumberland) 36,000
Houghton le Spring 36,000
Dunstable 35,000
Coalville 33,000
Peterlee 30,000
Rushden 29,000
Heywood 28,000
Ashington 27,000
Consett 27,000
Haverhill 27,000
Burntwood (Staffs) 26,000
Daventry 25,000
Newport (I.O.W.) 24,000
Heanor, Clevedon, Portishead all 22,000
Ripley 21,000
Hailsham 20,000


2. Only station is on fringe of town:-
Dudley 195,000
Halesowen 55,000
Middleton (Lancs.) 45,000 (Mills Hill station)

3. Towns with trams but no mainline rail station:-
West Bromwich 137,000
Oldham 103,000
South Shields 82,000
Gateshead 78,000
Bury 60,000
Wallsend 42,000
North Shields 40,000
Whitley Bay 36,000
Jarrow 27,000
Fleetwood 26,000
 
Last edited:

DavidGrain

Member
Joined
29 Dec 2017
Messages
922
Bevan Price.Many thanks for that analysis

2. Only station is on fringe of town:-
Dudley 195,000
Halesowen 55,000
Of course we can argue what is meant by the word fringe. As for Dudley neither Dudley Port nor Sandwell and Dudley is in Dudley by both the 'traditional' town and the Metropolitan Borough definitions. However, as I have mentioned before at Rowley Regis one end of platform two is in Halesowen and that really is a fringe situation.
 

David Emmott

Member
Joined
26 Nov 2015
Messages
866
There is also Queensbury, Stocksbridge, Ossett, Otley, Ripon, Hawes, Grassington, Helmsley, Easingwold, Pocklington, Market Weighton, Dinnington, Ripponden, Wetherby, Stamford Bridge, Withernsea and Hornsea.
None of these are 'large towns'. Ripon is a small city with a population of less than 20k and I doubt if any of the others are any bigger. Grassington is a village with some town-like features.
 

NorthOxonian

Member
Joined
5 Jul 2018
Messages
212
Location
Oxford/Newcastle
None of these are 'large towns'. Ripon is a small city with a population of less than 20k and I doubt if any of the others are any bigger. Grassington is a village with some town-like features.
Whilst most of them are very small, some of them (Ripon and Withernsea especially) are the main centre for a fairly large rural area. So whilst Ripon only has 20,000 people, the number of people who look to Ripon for services, and would drive to a station in the town, is significantly higher.
 

Mikey C

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2013
Messages
3,330
If we're including places with no NR service (but served by Trams or Metro cars) then presumably some of the places at the extremity of the London Underground would count. Loughton in Essex for example has a population of 31000
 

tbtc

Veteran Member
Joined
16 Dec 2008
Messages
15,935
Location
Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire
None of these are 'large towns'. Ripon is a small city with a population of less than 20k
Whilst most of them are very small, some of them (Ripon and Withernsea especially) are the main centre for a fairly large rural area. So whilst Ripon only has 20,000 people, the number of people who look to Ripon for services, and would drive to a station in the town, is significantly higher.
I'm not sure which other places you are tagging on to make Ripon's catchment area "significantly bigger"... but IF we are including the number of people in neighbouring villages who'd drive to a station there then presumably a lot of those villages are within driving distance of Thirsk/ Harrogate?

Otley is quite big...
Don't ask me about the practicalities of serving Otley (where to put a station, how to link it to the national network, where the spare paths into Leeds are...) but at least it's within commutable distance of a big city so there's an obvious "flow" there (commercial bus service etc). Maybe Otley's problem is that it doesn't tick many "regeneration" boxes (and proponents of re-opening old lines like to justify such schemes by suggesting they'll regenerate dilapidated towns).
 

s'land

Member
Joined
23 Oct 2007
Messages
57
This has been posted previously, and the population figures were from 2013, so may have changed a bit since then. This list only applies to England:

Towns without stations.

The "official" definitions of towns & their boundaries have changed over the years, especially in the 1974 reorganisation (Whitehall meddling) in which various towns & villages were lumped together into metropolitan boroughs or other units deemed an "ideal" size by Whitehall. For example, Hanley is a fairly large town with no station, but I could not locate a recent population separate from the combined "City of Stoke On Trent".

Also, information on Wikipedia is not always reliable. The following is an attempt to determine the population of towns, according to "traditional" boundaries, which have no station in or near the "town centre". Separate lists show towns with stations near the edge of the town, and towns with trams but no "mainline" railway station. Populations rounded to the nearest "thousand".

1. No station:-
Wythenshawe 86,000 (Technically part of Manchester, so should be deleted)
Gosport 80,000
Washington (Co. Durham) 53,000
Middleton (Lancs.) 45,000
Leigh (Lancs.) 44,000
West Bridgford 44,000
Skelmersdale 39,000
Ilkeston 37,000
Blyth (Northumberland) 36,000
Houghton le Spring 36,000
Dunstable 35,000
Coalville 33,000
Peterlee 30,000
Rushden 29,000
Heywood 28,000
Ashington 27,000
Consett 27,000
Haverhill 27,000
Burntwood (Staffs) 26,000
Daventry 25,000
Newport (I.O.W.) 24,000
Kenilworth 23,000
Heanor, Clevedon, Portishead all 22,000
Ripley 21,000
Hailsham 20,000


2. Only station is on fringe of town:-
Dudley 195,000
Halesowen 55,000

3. Towns with trams but no mainline rail station:-
West Bromwich 137,000
Oldham 103,000
South Shields 82,000
Gateshead 78,000
Bury 60,000
Wallsend 42,000
North Shields 40,000
Whitley Bay 36,000
Jarrow 27,000
Fleetwood 26,000
Washington and Houghton Le Spring are part of the City of Sunderland so maybe should be deleted from the list as well.
 

David Emmott

Member
Joined
26 Nov 2015
Messages
866
Otley is quite big...
I'd regard anywhere with less than 50k population as a small or medium sized town. I don't think Otley reaches that does it? 80k to 100k is more what I'd call 'large'. Nevertheless it's a shame that Otley was taken off the rail network and there must be potential traffic there if the link could be restored.
 

martinsh

Established Member
Joined
27 Jan 2011
Messages
1,622
Location
Considering a move to Memphis
:
Towns without stations.

1. No station:-
Wythenshawe 86,000 (Technically part of Manchester, so should be deleted)
Gosport 80,000
Washington (Co. Durham) 53,000
Middleton (Lancs.) 45,000
Leigh (Lancs.) 44,000
West Bridgford 44,000
Skelmersdale 39,000
Ilkeston 37,000
Blyth (Northumberland) 36,000
Houghton le Spring 36,000
I think you'll find Ilkeston now has a station ....
 

Mike Hodgson

New Member
Joined
13 Sep 2019
Messages
3
Location
Hitchin, Hertfordshire
When I was at school in Lymm (station closed over half a century ago, and yes I'm that old) they told us that whilst nearby Warrington was a town, piffling little Thelwall was a City (station closed even earlier!) having been founded by King Edward the Elder, despite it having a population of less than 10,000.

As a new member of this site. I should like to point out that when you register here, you are asked to say what city Paddington is in - and it rejects as invalid the correct answer of Westminster!
 

DelphDonkey

Member
Joined
18 Feb 2018
Messages
7
When I was at school in Lymm (station closed over half a century ago, and yes I'm that old) they told us that whilst nearby Warrington was a town, piffling little Thelwall was a City (station closed even earlier!) having been founded by King Edward the Elder, despite it having a population of less than 10,000.

As a new member of this site. I should like to point out that when you register here, you are asked to say what city Paddington is in - and it rejects as invalid the correct answer of Westminster!
I was once asked by an American how he would get to the 'City of Lymm, in Chess-shyre'. Change at Altrincham, mate.
 

NorthernSpirit

Established Member
Joined
21 Jun 2013
Messages
1,816
Don't ask me about the practicalities of serving Otley (where to put a station, how to link it to the national network, where the spare paths into Leeds are...) but at least it's within commutable distance of a big city so there's an obvious "flow" there (commercial bus service etc). Maybe Otley's problem is that it doesn't tick many "regeneration" boxes (and proponents of re-opening old lines like to justify such schemes by suggesting they'll regenerate dilapidated towns).
The only place I could think of in Otley where a station could go would at the eastern end of Otley Bypass, using part of the old trackbed to a potential station site. At the moment the nearest station to Otley is Menston and its walkable, takes around 25 minutes on foot or ten minutes by bus (33, 34 or the 62) and the 33 runs additionally on evenings and Sundays.

There's also the possibility that Menston acts as dual railhead for Pateley Bridge too.
 

C J Snarzell

Member
Joined
11 Apr 2019
Messages
581
I know these two towns have been mentioned - Leigh and Skelmersdale.

Leigh's last railway station closed in the early 1960s. Andy Burnham (now the Mayor of Manchester) was the Leigh MP and constantly campaigned for Leigh's need to have better transport links. Despite the lack of rail, the town now has direct bus only lanes connecting it to Manchester thanks to a multi million pound investment from the transport industry and central government. Leigh has been part of Greater Manchester since 1974 so there may be considerations to eventually connect it to the Metrolink but I cannot see this happening for several years if at all.

Skelmersdale was designated as a 'new town' in 1961 (much like Milton Keynes, Telford and Stevenage) to provide an overflow of new housing from the Liverpool regeneration scheme which took place after the war to rehouse people cleared out of slum housing in the city. 'Skem' as it's known, is more or less several council estates connected by roundabouts and bypasses, with everything converging on to a centralised shopping mall (the Concourse which the locals call the 'Cony'). The town's nearest rail station is Up Holland which is on the Wigan to Kirby line. Coincidentally, Skelmersdale is supposed to be the largest town in the UK not to have automated traffic lights at any junctions or interchanges (they are all roundabouts!).

C J
 

Comstock

Member
Joined
19 Jun 2012
Messages
535
West Bridgford. Largish and prosperous population, but quite close to Nottingham station - which I assume is the reason it never had its own station. It used to have the Nottingham to Melton line running through it.
Is that what the tram now runs along?
 

Comstock

Member
Joined
19 Jun 2012
Messages
535
Ok thank you.

FWIW (nothing) personally I'd struggle to see anywhere on the Nottingham Tram link as a place without rail links, no matter what the technical position.
 

class26

Member
Joined
4 May 2011
Messages
754
I'm not normally one to regret the closing of railway lines that did no business, but I've always regretted that the line from Spalding to Grimsby no longer exists. I'd have thought that a single track with simplified signalling would have come at least close to paying its way.
deleted
 

thejuggler

Member
Joined
8 Jan 2016
Messages
757
I'd regard anywhere with less than 50k population as a small or medium sized town. I don't think Otley reaches that does it? 80k to 100k is more what I'd call 'large'. Nevertheless it's a shame that Otley was taken off the rail network and there must be potential traffic there if the link could be restored.
Always liked Otley and considered moving there, but a reason we didn't was the absence of a railway service.
 

transmanche

Established Member
Joined
27 Feb 2011
Messages
6,008
I should like to point out that when you register here, you are asked to say what city Paddington is in - and it rejects as invalid the correct answer of Westminster!
Indeed! It even says so at the station entrance!
Although it has only been so since 1965.

Prior to that, it was in the Metropolitan Borough of Paddington, which merged with the boroughs of St Marylebone and Westminster to form the modern local authority called the City of Westminster.
 

Top