Glasgow Central top of the stops despite drop in 27 million passengers

The railway station recorded 5.3 million entries and exits, down from 32.5 million in 2019.

Glasgow Central top of the stops despite drop in 27 million passengers iStock
Top of the stops: Glasgow Central was the most used railway station in Scotland during 2020/21.

Glasgow Central remains top of the stops in Scotland despite a drop in 27 million passengers.

The railway station recorded the most passenger entries and exits north of the border in a year that saw Britain’s rail usage drop 78% due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) said the 2020/21 figures showed the “lowest level of journeys seen since at least before 1872”.

ScotRail recorded 14.8 million passenger journeys in 2020/21.

Glasgow Central remained the busiest station with 5.3 million entries and exits, down from 32.5 million in 2019.

Edinburgh Waverley recorded 2.9 million, Glasgow Queen Street recorded 2.3 million, Paisley Gilmour Street recorded 982,530, and Partick rounded off the top five with 634,162.

The ORR said the arrival of Partick into the top five underlines its importance “as a vital interchange, linking key workers with underground and bus services to travel across Glasgow”.

The impact of the pandemic was seen throughout the statistics, with 47 railway stations in Scotland recording fewer than 1000 entries and exits in 2020/21.

Beasdale station in the Highlands recorded no passenger entries and exits.

ORR’s statistics show London’s railway stations were the most used, with Stratford recording nearly 14 million entries and exits in 2020/21 (13,985,162), despite a 66% reduction from the 41 million users in 2019/20.

It is the first time in 17 years that Waterloo is not the most used station in Britain.

The London terminus saw a heavy reduction in passenger usage, with 12.2 million entries and exits compared to the 86.9 million in 2019/20.

Victoria (13.8 million), London Bridge (13.8 million) and Liverpool Street (11.2 million) complete the top five most used stations in Britain.

Feras Alshaker, director of planning and performance at ORR, 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.

“Glasgow Central has consistently appeared as one of the top ten most used stations outside of London and it is clear it remained a key destination for many passengers during 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.”