Aberdeenshire's busiest train station revealed
Passenger numbers were down at Aberdeenshire's railway stations last year as more people stayed at home during the coronavirus pandemic, figures show.
Statistics from the Office of Rail and Road show an estimated 199,000 passengers used Aberdeenshire' s seven stations in 2020-21.
This was 81 per cent fewer than in 2019-20, when 1.1 million travelled on trains in the area.
The busiest station was Inverurie, which saw 78,400 entries and exits by passengers.
However, this was down from 339,000 the year before, and the lowest number of passengers since comparable records began in 1997.
This was followed by Stonehaven, with 65,200, and Portlethen, which saw 14,200 passengers use the station.
The region’s quietest station was Kintore, which welcomed 8,470 passengers last year.
The figures are based primarily on ticket sales.
ORR director of planning and performance Feras Alshaker said: “This year we have seen many railway stations with very few passenger entries and exits.
"However, we know that recent figures show leisure journeys are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, while there has been a slower increase in commuter journeys.”
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.
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 showed 47 per cent of Scots think their local train services are very good or fairly good.