Scotland’s least used railway station sees passenger numbers double

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It’s a quaint station in a rural corner of Scotland, far removed from the hustle and bustle of urban transport hubs.

But there has been a quiet upsurge this year in the number of passengers boarding or alighting the train at Barry Links in Angus, with numbers increasing to 52 from just 24 in 2016/17.

There has been a modest rise in the number of passengers using Barry Links railway station in Angus

There has been a modest rise in the number of passengers using Barry Links railway station in Angus

The modest rise was enough for Barry Links, which serves the small village of Barry, to shed its title as the UK’s least used railway station.

Figures released today revealed British Steel Redcar in North Yorkshire was used by just 40 passengers in 2017/18.

The coke ovens and blast furnace at the nearby SSI steel plant were shut down in 2015 - leading to a drop in demand for the station - but there are still some people employed at the site.

Just four Northern trains stop at the halt each day between Monday and Saturday, two to Bishop Auckland and two to Saltburn. There are no trains on Sundays.

According to the National Rail Enquiries website, the station has no ticket machines, no waiting room, no toilet facilities and no step-free access.

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Barry Links, which is close to the famous golf town of Carnoustie, now rejoices in the title of the UK’s second least used station.

Last year, a local councillor claimed the Angus station was actually used more often than its modest numbers suggested.

Brian Boyd, an independent, said many people bought Carnoustie tickets but get off at Barry.

“These figures are quoted based on who buys tickets for stations and you can’t buy a ticket at Barry so you buy it at Carnoustie,” he said.

“I can assure you there’s at least a dozen passengers coming off each and every evening from the tea-time train at Barry.”

The other three railway stations in Britain with fewer than 100 entries and exits in the past year were Denton, Greater Manchester (70); Teesside Airport, County Durham (74); and Stanlow and Thornton, Cheshire (92).

Many stations are kept open despite being rarely used because it is easier to arrange for a train to stop infrequently than obtain permission to close a station.

Rail enthusiasts often visit the least used station from the previous year to boost its passenger numbers.

Glasgow Central retained its position as Scotland’s most used station, with 32.9 million passengers putting it at number 11 in the overall ranking.