Waterloo Station is busiest in Britain for 15th year

11 December 2018

Waterloo is the busiest station in Britain for the 15th consecutive year, despite the total number of passenger entries and exits falling by five million to 94.4 million.

Estimates published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) today reveal that stations in London are nine out of the top 10 most used, with only Birmingham New Street breaking the capital’s dominance and remaining the 6th busiest station overall.

Despite the total numbers of users at Waterloo dipping, in part because of the three-week closure for upgrade work in August 2017, it still accommodated more than twice as many visitors as the top 10 tourist attractions in the UK combined.

Glasgow Central retains its position as the busiest station in Scotland and 11th in the overall list, with passengers using it 32.9million times this year, and Cardiff Central was top in Wales with more than 12.9 million entries and exits, making it 33rd overall.

The station with the fewest entries and exits was British Steel Redcar, with only 40 entries and exits in the entire year. Last year’s quietest station Barry Links in Scotland more than doubled its entrances and exits to 52, making it only the second quietest station in the charts.

The three new stations which opened in 2017-18 Cambridge North, Ilkeston and Low Moor, attracted more than 488,000, 252,000 and 133,000 entries and exits respectively.

Around the country, Newcastle was the busiest station in the North East with 8.8 million entrances and exits making it 48th overall, Manchester Piccadilly was number one in the North West, Cambridge was busiest in the East of England and Bristol Temple Meads came out top in the South West.

Notes to editors

  1. The figures cover the period between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018.
  2. The statistics are available at: https://orr.gov.uk/statistics/published-stats/station-usage-estimates.
  3. The interactive graphic available at: https://orr.gov.uk/statistics/popular-statistics.
  4. As Britain does not have a fully gated rail network, it is not possible to accurately record passengers joining or leaving the network. Therefore, these estimates of station usage are largely based on ticket sales. This places a number of limitations on the data, which users should be aware of. Further information can be found on the website.
  5. Top 10 free attractions 2017 according to Visit Britain:
    1. British Museum - 5,906,716
    2. Tate Modern - 5,656,004
    3. National Gallery - 5,229,192
    4. Brighton Pier - 4,684,000 (E)
    5. NHM South Kensington - 4,434,520
    6. V&A South Kensington - 3,789,748
    7. Science Museum - 3,251,634
    8. Somerset House - 3,223,350
    9. Tate Britain - 1,777,877
    10. National Portrait Gallery - 1,703,411
  6. The Office of Rail and Road is the UK’s rail regulator and strategic roads monitor for England. Follow us @railandroad.