Lincoln train station usage remains below pre-pandemic levels

Train station usage in Lincoln remained below levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic last year, new figures show.

File photo dated 08/12/14 of a train passenger buying a ticket at Waterloo Station in central London, as several train companies are suffering problems accepting card payments for tickets.
File photo dated 08/12/14 of a train passenger buying a ticket at Waterloo Station in central London, as several train companies are suffering problems accepting card payments for tickets.

Train station usage in Lincoln remained below levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic last year, new figures show.

Station usage more than doubled across Great Britain in 2021-22 as people across the country returned to more normal travelling routines following the pandemic.

Office of Rail and Road figures show 1.5 million passengers entered and exited Lincoln's only train station in 2021-22 – up from 430,900 the year before but below pre-pandemic levels of 2 million in 2019-20.

Across the country, passenger numbers rebounded from a pandemic drop in 2020-21.

An estimated 1.8 billion visitors entered and exited train stations in Great Britain last year – more than double the 690 million visitors the year before.

But this was still well below the 3 billion passengers who used stations in 2019-20, before the pandemic.

The ORR’s estimates of station usage are taken from the rail industry’s ticketing and revenue system Lennon, with some local ticketing data.

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

ORR director of planning and performance Feras Alshaker said: "It is heartening to see passengers return to travelling by rail following what was a difficult period for the industry during the pandemic.

"There’s still some way to go in order for station usage figures to return to pre-pandemic levels.

"Once again it is important to thank all those in the rail industry, who continue to work hard to help people travel safely and with confidence."

Transport think tank, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, said it is positive to see numbers rebounding, but that there is still a long way to go.

Jacob Mason, research and impact director at the ITDP, said: "As we recover from the pandemic, the time for a major investment into public transport is now."

After falling to number four in the rankings in 2020-21, London Waterloo – which was the most active station for 16 straight years before the pandemic – returned to the top with 41.4 million passengers.

Meanwhile, Elton and Orston in rural Nottinghamshire was the least-used station in the country with 40 recorded entries and exits.

The Department for Transport said it has provided more than £16 billion of funding for passenger services since the start of the pandemic.

A spokesperson added: "We now need to reform our railways to reflect changes in travel trends and restore financial stability on our railways."