Search

More people using trains as Greater Anglia sees passenger numbers at stations rise

PUBLISHED: 16:30 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:29 15 January 2020

The number of passengers at Ipswich station increased by just under 2%. Picture: ARCHANT

The number of passengers at Ipswich station increased by just under 2%. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

The number of rail passengers using most stations in Suffolk and Essex has continued to rise - despite the problems facing train travellers last year.

The number of rail passengers using most stations in Suffolk and Essex has continued to rise - despite the problems facing train travellers last year.

The number of people using Ipswich station in the 2018/19 financial year rose to 3.416m - up from 3.352m the previous year, a rise of almost 2%.

There was also a rise at Suffolk's second busiest station, Stowmarket - with passenger numbers increasing from 935,000 to 967,000, a rise of 3.4%.

Bury St Edmunds saw a 2% rise to 665,000 passengers, but both Felixstowe and Lowestoft stations saw falls in the number of people using them.

Felixstowe passenger numbers dropped 7.5% to 187,000 - but during the year the line was closed for most weekends because Network Rail was laying new track in the Trimley area.

Lowestoft passenger numbers fell 3% to 438,000. However the lines from the coast to Norwich were closed for some time because Network Rail was installing new signalling and track work. There will be another extended closure on these lines next month which are likely to hit passenger numbers again.

The figures are contained in the annual report from the government's Office of Road and Rail.

They reveal that the least-used station in the county is Lakenheath on the line from Ely to Norwich. That had only 454 passengers throughout the whole year, but it is some distance from the village and is only served by a few weekend trains mainly used by wildlife enthusiasts to reach the nature reserve next to it.

Overall the number of passengers using Suffolk stations last year rose by 2.7% to 7.7m.

In Essex, Colchester saw the number of passengers increase by 1.7% to 4.5m, while 1.5m passengers used Manningtree and 799,000 used Clacton.

All these figures recorded passenger numbers between April 2018 and March 2019. They did not record the period at the end of the year that saw rail services thrown into chaos because of signalling problems and issues with the new trains that are continuing.

A Greater Anglia spokeswoman said: "With the rising costs of travelling by car, increasingly congested roads and the need for all of us to reduce our carbon footprint, more and more people are choosing to travel by train. We expect that as we continue to transform rail travel in East Anglia with our brand new fleet of longer trains and upgraded stations, even more people will make the switch.

"Lowestoft and Felixstowe stations saw a slight reduction in the numbers of people using them last year because those lines were closed for some periods while important upgrades were carried out to the track and signalling, but we hope people will be attracted back to rail thanks to our great value fares including Groupsave, kids for £2 and advance fares."

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times