Passenger numbers go up at rail stations across East Anglia last year

Ipswich station attracted 3.3m passengers last year, Stock Image

Ipswich station attracted 3.3m passengers last year, Stock Image - Credit: Archant

The number of people using railway stations in East Anglia rose again last year according to figures from the Office of Road and Rail.

More than 70 million journeys were started or ended at stations across the region – a 4.4% increase on 2016 and a 22.4% rise in numbers since 2012. Liverpool Street station in London had 67m passengers – the third busiest station in the country.

Ipswich was the busiest station in Suffolk with 3,342,366 passengers – a 1.7% increase on the previous year. Colchester station was busier, with 4,475,581 passengers. That is down since 2012, but Colchester Town station has seen a massive increase in passenger numbers and the two stations combined have seen an increase of 4% over the last five years.

The second busiest station in Suffolk is Stowmarket with just under a million passengers – it is a major hub with many people driving from the eastern side of Bury St Edmunds to catch trains to London or Norwich from that station.

Lowestoft station saw fractionally under 450,000 passengers in 2017, its numbers were 1.2% down, and Newmarket saw 364,000 passengers – up 12% in a year.

Manningtree station attracted just over 1m travellers – but that was a 5% fall over the year. Since 2012 its passenger numbers have increased by just under 9%.

Stations on the East Suffolk Line have seen some of the largest percentage increases since 2012 – the year that an hourly service was introduced following the installation of the Beccles loop.

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In 2017 almost 205,000 passengers used Woodbridge station, 152,000 passengers used Saxmundham, 110,000 used Beccles and 100,000 used Halesworth. Felixstowe station at the end of its own branch line attracted just under 200,000 passengers.

The number of passengers using Sudbury has remained fairly constant at 320,000 – but this could change next year with the introduction of a new service from the Suffolk town to Colchester Town station providing a direct link between the two towns as well as a commuter service with links to London.

Clacton station attracted 824,000 passengers with Walton and Frinton attracting 340,000 between them. Harwich’s two stations and Dovercourt attracted 400,000 passengers between them.

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