Passenger numbers fall by more than 95% – and Network Rail welcomes drop

There are now only a fraction of normal passenger numbers passing through Liverpool Street station.

There are now only a fraction of normal passenger numbers passing through Liverpool Street station. Picture: NETWORK RAIL - Credit: Archant

The number of passengers using London’s Liverpool Street Station has fallen by 95% since the introduction of the lockdown on March 23, according to new figures from Network Rail.

Only three people were on this train from Norwich to London. Picture: Nathan Long/Greater Anglia

Only three people were on this train from Norwich to London. Picture: Nathan Long/Greater Anglia - Credit: Archant

During the first week of March, before any restrictions were brought in, the station was used by more than 2.2m passengers from Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, and Cambridgeshire.

By the last week of the month (March 29-April 4), the station was used by just 135,000 passengers – trains are now only running for essential staff who need them to get to an from their work.

The number of people visiting retail units at the station has fallen even greater – by 96%, from just over half a million to less than 20,000.

The fall comes as Greater Anglia is running a reduced service for key workers only and released pictures to us last week showing just how empty their trains are at present. Some Intercity trains have just a handful of passengers.

The rail industry is being supported by the government to keep services running for key workers and ensure there is enough capacity to allow those workers to keep their distance from each other during their journeys.

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Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “These figures show a dramatic decrease in passengers using Liverpool Street station and we’d like to thank customers for following government advice and only travelling when their journeys are essential.

“This wouldn’t be our usual message but during the current situation those who can stay at home are helping us to create a safer environment for those who still need to go to work.

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“We can’t be complacent and I urge people to continue to follow the guidelines, which will help to keep more people safe.”

During the lockdown rail staff are classed as essential workers and are continuing to travel to work to operate the trains, signalling centres and to maintain the tracks to ensure it is safe for trains to run.

Some staff at stations across the region have also been given new jobs of cleaning surfaces with antiseptic wipes – particularly on surfaces that are frequently touched by passengers – in a bid to ensure that there is little chance of the virus spreading among travellers using their sites to get to or from their work.

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