Railways are working their way back to pre-pandemic levels, official figures show.
London Waterloo is once again the country’s busiest station as commuters recover from coronavirus-related service cuts, according to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
It was used by an estimated 41.4 million passengers in the year to the end of March – up from 12.2 million in the previous 12 months, but still less than half the 2019 estimate of 86.9 million -2020.
London Victoria maintained its position as the second most used station with 36.8 million entries and exits. London Bridge remained third with 33.3 million.
Glasgow Central remained Scotland’s most-used station, with 15.3 million passengers – up from 5.3 million last year but down from 32.5 million two years ago.
Cardiff Central maintained its status as the busiest in Wales, with 7.5 million entries and exits – more than three times the 2 million in 2020-21, although less than the 12.7 million in 2019-2020.
ORR director of planning and execution, Feras Alshaker, said there was still some way to go, but added: “It is encouraging to see passengers traveling by rail again after a difficult period for the industry during the pandemic.”
The figures come after the RMT union announced eight days of strikes over the holiday season, leading to general secretary Mick Lynch being labeled a ‘Grinch’. The union, which wants a seven percent wage increase, also plans an overtime ban from December 18 to January 2.
After accusing ministers of blocking a deal, Mr Lynch met Transport Secretary Mark Harper for talks yesterday but said: “If we call off the strikes, we will never get a settlement.” Mr Harper said there was ‘common ground’ to end the dispute.
Meanwhile, a strike action was planned today for London Underground stations, including King’s Cross St Pancras, Euston, Victoria and Heathrow terminals. Drivers’ union Aslef will hold a nationwide strike at 16 railway companies tomorrow.
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