Passenger numbers down at Chichester Railway Station

Passenger numbers were down at the district’s railway stations last year as more people stayed at home during the coronavirus pandemic, figures show.

Chichester Railway Station  Photo by Kate Shemilt SUS-190203-192955008
Chichester Railway Station Photo by Kate Shemilt SUS-190203-192955008

Statistics from the Office of Rail and Road show an estimated 1.1 million passengers used Chichester district’s five stations (Chichester, Fishbourne, Southbourne, Nutbourne and Bosham) in 2020-21.

This was 68 per cent fewer than in 2019-20, when 3.3 million travelled on trains in the area.

The busiest station was Chichester, which saw 914,000 entries and exits by passengers.

However, this was down from 2.9 million the year before, and the lowest number of passengers since comparable records began in 1997.

This was followed by Southbourne, with 77,900, and Nutbourne, which saw 36,100 passengers use the station.

The quietest station was Bosham, which welcomed 22,900 passengers last year, compared to 70,200 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 South East, 54 per cent of people surveyed said the same.