How many passengers use Suffolk railway stations?
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
New figures have revealed how well used Suffolk’s train stations were up until lockdown this year.
The yearly figures, from the Office of Road and Rail, cover the period from April 2019 to March 31 2020, just one week into lockdown.
The least used station in the county is Lakenheath, with just 416 passengers in the last year - while the most visited station is Ipswich, which saw more than 3million travellers in the same time.
Nearly every station in Suffolk saw a reduced number of travellers when compared to the previous year.
The biggest drops were seen at Somerleyton station, which saw a 16% reduction in passengers. Felixstowe also saw a large drop of 9.1% in passengers. There was some good news for some of the county’s smallest stations, which saw increases in their passenger numbers.
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This included a 3.4% increase at Brampton, a 2.7% increase at Darsham and 8.5% increase at the Wickham Market station in Campsea Ashe.
Figures that cover the bulk of the coronavirus pandemic, including the two periods of lockdown, will not be released until November 2021.
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A spokesman for Greater Anglia said: “Several of our stations saw a decline in passenger numbers due to the pandemic.
“However, stations including Darsham, Wickham Market and Brampton on the East Suffolk Line all saw increases.
“This is due to a number of factors including new housing and initiatives from the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership (CRP) before the pandemic.
“The CRP held several popular guided walks, event trains and a shuttle bus between Wickham Market station direct to the Folk East Festival which was more popular than ever before.
“We are working to make rail the number one choice for sustainable travel.
“We are in the process of introducing an entire fleet of new trains.
“Our new trains are longer and have more seats, fast free Wifi, charge points and air conditioning.
“All of our network is currently in Tier 2 high Covid alert.
“We have taken many measures to make our trains safe including extra cleaning and sanitising, so when people travel with us they can travel with confidence.”