Office of Rail and Road
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All change for most used stations as Elizabeth line shakes up top 10

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has revealed that London Liverpool Street has replaced London Waterloo as the most used railway station in Great Britain. The opening of the Elizabeth line was a principal contributing factor in the almost 80.4 million entries and exits to Liverpool Street between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023, an increase of around 50 million.

The new Elizabeth line, which runs from beyond the western and eastern edges of the capital, has also impacted the figures for Paddington, Farringdon and Tottenham Court Road which all feature in the top-10 stations.

Paddington was the second busiest station, up four places from last year, with 59.2 million entries and exits, while Farringdon has risen 29 places to number nine (31.5m). Tottenham Court Road’s Elizabeth line station opened in May 2022 and enters the list for the first time as the seventh busiest station with 34.9 million entries and exits. London Waterloo drops down to third (57.8m), while London Bridge is fourth (47.7m).

The busiest stations outside London were Birmingham New Street (30.7m), Leeds (24.0m) and Manchester Piccadilly (23.6m), ranking 11th to 13th overall.

Glasgow Central was the most used station in Scotland with 20.8m entries and exits and Cardiff Central topped the list in Wales (10.2m).

The top 10 most used stations in Great Britain

Entries and exits
Rank one year ago
1 London Liverpool Street 80.4 million 4
2 London Paddington 59.2m 6
3 London Waterloo 57.8m 1
4 London Bridge 47.7m 3
5 London Victoria 45.6m 2
6 Stratford (London) 44.1m 5
7 Tottenham Court Road 34.9m New entry
8 London St Pancras International 33.3m 12
9 Farringdon 31.5m 38
10 London Euston 31.3m 7

The top 10 most used stations outside London

Entries and exits
Birmingham New Street 30.7 million
Leeds 24.0m
Manchester Piccadilly 23.6m
Glasgow Central 20.8m
Edinburgh Waverley 18.2m
Gatwick Airport 16.5m
Brighton 14.1m
Reading 12.4m
Glasgow Queen Street 12.3m
Liverpool Central 11.4m

The least used station was Teesside Airport which had two entries and exits in the latest year, however its once-a-week Sunday service was suspended in May 2022 after the platform was classified as unsafe.

The least used station that was open throughout the whole year was Denton in Greater Manchester with 34 recorded entries and exits. Third-place Elton and Orston in Nottinghamshire was the least visited in the previous year with 40 entries and exits; that number increased by 16 in this reporting year.

There were five open stations with 100 or fewer entries and exits in the latest year:

  1. Teesside Airport, Darlington (two entries and exits)
  2. Denton, Greater Manchester (34)
  3. Elton and Orston, Nottinghamshire (56)
  4. Kirton Lindsey, North Lincolnshire (94)
  5. Reddish South, Greater Manchester (100)

The report also presents data of the busiest flows between pairs of stations for the first time, with four of the top 10 on routes only served by the Elizabeth line. Between London Liverpool Street and Tottenham Court Road led the statistics with 5.8 million journeys, while the busiest flow outside of the capital was between Birmingham New Street and Coventry (2.1m).

Feras Alshaker, Director of Planning and Performance at the Office of Rail and Road, said: 

“Our official statistics show how the full opening of the Elizabeth line has changed the way people travel into and across the capital. Waterloo had been the busiest station in Britain for all but one of the previous 18 years. The busiest stations outside of London remain more stable with Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester leading the list.

“These statistics offer insight not only for the public but also for industry and planners, and we have continued to evolve them this year with the inclusion for the first time of data about journeys between stations.”

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