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Railway stations are getting busier

Britain's busiest railway stations are becoming ever more crowded, according to official figures.

All the top 10 busiest stations reported an increase in passengers in the last financial year (April 2012 to March 2013).

And the number of people using stations across Britain in this period rose 3.3%, the statistics from the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) showed.

Based on the estimated number of exits and entrances to a station during 2012/13, Waterloo in London was the busiest station, with numbers, compared with 2011/12, rising 1.9% to almost 96 million.

Second was Victoria in London, with numbers rising 1.6% to 77.34 million, with another big London terminus, Liverpool Street, third with a 2.4% rise to just under 58.45 million.

The busiest non-London station in 2012/13 was Birmingham New Street where numbers rose 2.7% to 32.09 million. The largest rise among the top 10 stations last year was Euston in London where the number of exits and entrances rose 4.9% to almost 38.3 million.

After Birmingham New Street, the busiest non-London station was Glasgow Central, with numbers rising 2.2% to 27.18 million.

The next busiest provincial stations were Leeds (up 4.6% to 26.2 million), Manchester Piccadilly (up 1.0% to 23.15 million) and Brighton (up 0.8% to 16.18 million).

Of the busiest stations, just two saw fewer passengers in 2012/13 than in 2011/12, with numbers dipping 4.9% at both Liverpool Central and Liverpool Lime Street.

Martin Abrams, public transport campaigner for the Campaign for Better Transport, said: "These statistics show more and more people are using the train to get to work. The Government needs to support this with affordable fares and better infrastructure.

"That means not just updating our busiest stations, but connecting communities who currently lose out because they are not on the network. We also need to devolve more investment decisions away from Whitehall to make the railways more responsive to local needs."

Of the major stations, the largest growth in 2012/13 was at Stratford in east London - the gateway station for the 2012 London Olympics - where crowds at the Games helped numbers shoot up more than 17% to 25.56 million.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "Our railways are a success story, carrying more people than at any time since the Second World War.

"We want to make sure our railways continue to meet the challenge of passenger demand. That is why more than £38 billion is being spent over the next five years to transform the network. That means better stations and more trains and services, allowing more people to travel quickly and comfortably."

A spokesman for industry body the Rail Delivery Group said: "Not just in London but across the country, more people are using the railway, which is helping to generate record levels of revenue to fund better services and improved stations for passengers."


From Belfast Telegraph