Norfolk’s Berney Arms named Britain’s least used railway station



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Berney Arms named Britain’s least used railway station
Credit: ORR

Berney Arms in Norfolk was Britain’s least used railway station in the past year, the Office of Rail and Road said.

Just 42 passengers used the isolated station between April 2019 and March 2020.

This was down 90% on the previous 12 months as the lines serving the station were closed for most of the period due to signalling upgrade work.

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Berney Arms is on a single-track line between Reedham and Great Yarmouth, and is named after a nearby pub which has been closed for five years.

The station is close to the River Yare and is surrounded by marshland managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

It is around three miles from the nearest public road.

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Two Greater Anglia trains serve the station in each direction between Mondays and Saturdays, rising to five on Sundays.

Britain's least used railway stations
Credit: PA Media

Passengers wanting to get off at the single platform station must make a request to the train crew.

London Waterloo was the busiest station for the 16th consecutive year in 2019/20 despite a 7.29 million year-on-year decrease in the number of passengers to 86.9 million.

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The decline was attributed to strike action and the coronavirus pandemic.

A total of six stations had fewer than 100 passengers during the year.

In addition to Berney Arms, they were: Elton and Orston, Nottinghamshire (68); Stanlow and Thornton, Cheshire (82); Havenhouse, Lincolnshire (84); Denton, Greater Manchester (92); and Polesworth, Warwickshire (96).

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Denton shared the title of Britain’s least used station during the previous 12 months with Stanlow and Thornton, after both recorded 46 passengers.

Their increase in passenger numbers in the past year is likely due to visits from railway enthusiasts following publicity of their ranking.

Several stations across Britain are kept open despite being rarely used because it is generally easier to arrange for a train to stop there infrequently than obtain permission for closure.

Glasgow Central remained Scotland’s busiest station in 2019/20, although its usage fell by 330,000 passengers to 32.5 million.

This was followed by Edinburgh Waverley (23.1 million).

In Wales, Cardiff Central recorded 12.7 million passengers, a decrease of 260,000 compared with last year.

The figures are estimates largely based on ticket sales.

Jay Symonds, ORR senior statistical analyst, said: “The dramatic drop in passenger numbers towards the end of March due to Covid-19 explains much of the drop in usage compared to last year.

“Despite this, Waterloo remains top but we saw a change in the least used station with Berney Arms taking the spot from Denton and Stanlow & Thornton.

“With numbers staying at historically low levels during 2020, there is no doubt that next year’s figures will look a lot different.”


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