THE busiest train station in South Lakeland has been revealed.

Statistics from the Office of Rail and Road show an estimated 593,000 passengers used South Lakeland's 14 stations in 2020-21.

This was 72 per cent fewer than in 2019-20, when 2.1 million travelled on trains in the area.

The busiest station was Oxenholme, which saw 160,000 entries and exits by passengers.

However, this was down from 658,000 the year before, and the lowest number of passengers since comparable records began in 1997.

Windermere followed in second place, with 115,000, and Ulverston in third place, with 90,700 passengers using the station.

Across Great Britain, usage of railway stations fell from 3 billion in 2019-20 to 687 million – a fall of 77 per cent.

The busiest station in England – with an estimated 14 million passengers – was Stratford, in London, marking the first time in 17 years that Waterloo was not the most-used.

The figures are based primarily on ticket sales.

Six stations in Britain had no passengers in 2020-21, mainly due to services being suspended because of the coronavirus crisis.

They were Abererch, Gwynedd; Beasdale, Highland; Llanbedr, Gwynedd; Sampford Courtenay, Devon; Stanlow and Thornton, Cheshire; and Sugar Loaf and Powys.

In South Lakeland, the quietest station was Dent, which welcomed 1,790 passengers last year, compared to 8,130 in 2019-20.

Andy Bagnall, director-general at industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said: “The station usage figures show how the rail industry kept people moving for the first year of the pandemic.

“Some of the entries on the list reflect where people like key workers were travelling from and also the acceleration of changes to how people are travelling after the pandemic.

“Rail companies are working together to welcome people back and the recent increase in passengers continues to both reflect and support the nation’s recovery.”

Separate figures from a YouGov poll of 56,000 adults show 51 per cent of Britons think their local train services are very good or fairly good.

In the North West, 49 per cent of people surveyed said the same.