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Waterloo regains the title of Britain’s busiest railway station

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London Waterloo has regained its status as Britain’s most used railway station.

The Office of Rail and Road said the station was used by an estimated 41.4 million passengers in the 12 months to the end of March.

The total was up from 12.2 million in the previous year, but was less than half the 86.9 million forecast for 2019/20.

London Waterloo was the UK’s busiest station for 16 years, until it dropped to number four in 2020/21 as passenger numbers plummeted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Scotland, Glasgow Central remained the most used station with 15.3 million passengers, up from 5.3 million last year but down from 32.5 million two years earlier.

Cardiff Central maintained its position as the busiest station in Wales with 7.5 million entries and exits.

This was more than three times the two million in 2020/21, but less than the 12.7 million in 2019/20.

ORR Director of Planning and Performance Firas Alashkar said: “It is encouraging to see passengers traveling by rail again after a difficult period for the industry during the pandemic.

“There is still a long way to go to return station usage to pre-pandemic levels.

“Once again it is important to thank everyone in the rail industry who continue to work hard to help people travel safely and with confidence.”

Alton and Orston was the least used station in the UK (Avalon/Construction Photography/ Alamy Stock Photo/PA)

The least used railway station in 2021/22 was Alton and Orston in rural Nottinghamshire, with 40 registered entries and exits.

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It is served by two East Midlands Railway trains a day between Monday and Saturday.

The first departs for Nottingham at 07:04, the second to Skegness at 17:11.

There are no trains at the station on Sundays.

There are no ticket purchasing facilities, toilets or waiting rooms at Alton and Orston.

ORR’s station utilization estimates are derived from Lennon, the rail industry’s ticketing and revenue system, along with some local ticketing data.

Adjustments are being made “to make the estimates as accurate as possible,” the regulator said.

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