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All aboard! Figures reveal our area’s quietest and busiest stations

PUBLISHED: 07:08 17 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:38 17 January 2020

West Runton train station.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

West Runton train station. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2012

Rural rail stations have seen an increase in users as almost 10m people travelled across Norfolk alone by train last year.

Greater Anglia is seeing more passengers than before, with the number of estimated train users going up by 1.8pc.

According to new figures from the Office of Rail and Road, 9.7m people travelled by train across Norfolk in 2017/18, a figure which has risen to 9.9m in 2018/19.

A Great Northern line train. Picture: Ian BurtA Great Northern line train. Picture: Ian Burt

Norwich station was the main hub of passengers, with more than 4.2m people catching the train, ranking it the 120th busiest station in the country.

The unstaffed Roughton Road station, which is on the Bitten line to Cromer, saw a significant 29.2pc increase in station users thanks to a rise in commuters and students, one of many rural stations to mark a rise.

Paul Heinrich, a North Norfolk District Councillor for North Walsham East, who is part of Community Rail Norfolk and the Bitten Line Partnership, added new housing developments may have been a contributing factor.

He said: "We are very pleased to see the continuing increase in use on the train, apart from environmental point of view but for maintaining the service."

The railway station at Wymondham in early morning winter sunshine. Picture: Carmina McConnellThe railway station at Wymondham in early morning winter sunshine. Picture: Carmina McConnell

The top 10 busiest stations in our area were Norwich, King's Lynn, Diss, Downham Market, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Thetford, North Walsham, Sheringham and Cromer.

At the other end of the scale, Buckenham train station remained the area's quietest, with only 216 journeys made in 2018/19.

It also ranks as the 14th quietest in the country - but the request stop, which is only available at weekends, saw a 6.9pc increase from 2017/18.

Berney Arms in Great Yarmouth saw its usage halve in the 2018/19 year due to engineering works reducing the amount of passengers from 966 in 2017/18 to 442.

The Bittern Line/North Walsham train station. Photo: Colin FinchThe Bittern Line/North Walsham train station. Photo: Colin Finch

It comes despite figures in December 2018 which showed that, from July to September of that year, Greater Anglia's punctuality and reliability levels sunk to their lowest levels since 2004.

Martin Moran, Greater Anglia's commercial, customer service and train presentation director, 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."

Between now and Easter, all of the company's old intercity trains will be replaced with new longer trains, with up to 40pc more seats.

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