Northumberland's busiest train station revealed

Passenger numbers were down at Northumberland's railway stations last year as more people stayed at home during the coronavirus pandemic, figures show.

By Patrick Jack
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 6:00 am
Figures show leisure journeys are returning to pre-pandemic levels.
Figures show leisure journeys are returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Statistics from the Office of Rail and Road show an estimated 509,000 passengers used Northumberland' s 17 stations in 2020-21 – 80% fewer than in 2019-20, when 2.5 million travelled on trains in the area.

The busiest station was Berwick-Upon-Tweed, which saw 142,000 entries and exits by passengers.

However, this was down from 602,000 the year before, and the lowest number of passengers since comparable records began in 1997.

This was followed by Morpeth, with 82,500, and Hexham, with 80,300 passengers using the station.

ORR director of planning and performance Feras Alshaker said: “This year we have seen many railway stations with very few passenger entries and exits.

"However, we know that recent figures show leisure journeys are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, while there has been a slower increase in commuter journeys.”

Six stations in Britain had no passengers in 2020-21, mainly due to services being suspended because of the pandemic.

In Northumberland, the quietest station was Acklington, which welcomed 66 passengers last year, compared to 246 in 2019-20.

Andy Bagnall, director-general at industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said: “The station usage figures show how the rail industry kept people moving for the first year of the pandemic.

“Some of the entries on the list reflect where people like key workers were travelling from and also the acceleration of changes to how people are travelling after the pandemic.

“Rail companies are working together to welcome people back and the recent increase in passengers continues to both reflect and support the nation’s recovery.”