Over 300 passengers use Bow Street station in first two months

By Chris Betteley   |   Reporter   |
Monday 29th November 2021 2:02 pm
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More than 300 passengers used the new multi-million-pound Bow Street station during its first two months of operation earlier this year, figures have revealed, in a year that saw the lowest level of journeys seen in the UK since at least 1872 as a result of the pandemic.

The first train stopped at the newly built station on Sunday, 14 February, after construction work on the £8 million project began in November 2019.

Work on the site was temporarily suspended when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, leading to the later opening time.

Now, new data has revealed that from its opening day to the end of March this year, 304 people exited or entered at the station, and rail chiefs remain confident that usage will grow further as journeys return to pre-pandemic levels.

It was anticipated that the new station would generate more than 30,000 new trips per year before the pandemic hit.

The new station use data reveals the extent to which train journeys into and out of the county were hit by the Covid crisis.

While services remained running at many stations, train use fell by more than 80 per cent county-wide.

In Aberystwyth, usage of the town’s station fell 85 per cent from 278,880 passengers in 2019-20 to a low of 41,430 in 2020-21.

A similar 85 per cent decline was also seen at Borth station which registered 8,444 passenger usage during the pandemic-hit year.

Machynlleth train station recorded a drop of 86 per cent - from 121,068 the previous year, to 17,030 - while usage at the nearby Dyfi Junction station fell 61 per cent from 4,292 to 1,692.

The numbers were revealed in the Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) estimates of station usage statistics 2020-21, which include the annual total of passenger entries and exits at each of the 2,500+ stations in Great Britain.

The impact of the pandemic is seen throughout ORR’s statistics with 51 railway stations in Wales recording fewer than 1,000 entries and exits in 2020-21.

Nearly 200 railway stations across Britain had fewer than 1,000 entries and exits, with six recording no entries or exits during the last year as a result of services being temporarily suspended at the majority of these stations due to the pandemic.

Feras Alshaker, director of planning and performance at the Office of Rail and Road said: “Throughout 2020-21 the railways remained an essential service for those people who needed to travel during a year which was impacted by the pandemic.

“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.”

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