What are the most and least used train stations in Manchester?

Manchester Piccadilly was the most used train station in Manchester last year, new figures show.

File photo dated 08/12/14 of a train passenger buying a ticket at Waterloo Station in central London, as several train companies are suffering problems accepting card payments for tickets.
File photo dated 08/12/14 of a train passenger buying a ticket at Waterloo Station in central London, as several train companies are suffering problems accepting card payments for tickets.

Manchester Piccadilly was the most used train station in Manchester last year, new figures show.

Station usage more than doubled across Great Britain in 2021-22 as people across the country returned to more normal travelling routines following the coronavirus pandemic.

And in Manchester, Manchester Piccadilly was the most-used station in the year to March, Office of Rail and Road figures show, as 19.6 million passengers entered and exited.

At the other end, Ardwick saw the least activity, with 404 visits across the year.

After falling to number four in the rankings in 2020-21, London Waterloo – which was the most active station for 16 straight years before the pandemic – returned to the top with 41.4 million passengers.

Meanwhile, Elton and Orston in rural Nottinghamshire was the least-used station in the country with 40 recorded entries and exits.

Across the country, passenger numbers rebounded from a pandemic drop in 2020-21.

An estimated 1.8 billion visitors entered and exited train stations in Great Britain last year – more than double the 690 million visitors the year before.

But this was still well below the 3 billion passengers who used stations in 2019-20, before the pandemic.

The ORR’s estimates of station usage are taken from the rail industry’s ticketing and revenue system Lennon, with some local ticketing data.

Adjustments are made to make the estimates as accurate as possible, the regulator said.

ORR director of planning and performance Feras Alshaker said: "It is heartening to see passengers return to travelling by rail following what was a difficult period for the industry during the pandemic.

"There’s still some way to go in order for station usage figures to return to pre-pandemic levels.

"Once again it is important to thank all those in the rail industry, who continue to work hard to help people travel safely and with confidence."

In Manchester, 33.4 million passengers entered and exited train stations in 2021-22 – up from 8.9 million the previous year, but below pre-pandemic levels of 56.9 million in 2019-20.

Transport think tank, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, said it is positive to see numbers rebounding, but that there is still a long way to go.

Jacob Mason, research and impact director at the ITDP, said: "As we recover from the pandemic, the time for a major investment into public transport is now."

The Department for Transport said it has provided more than £16 billion of funding for passenger services since the start of the pandemic.

A spokesperson added: "We now need to reform our railways to reflect changes in travel trends and restore financial stability on our railways."