Barry Links named as Britain's least used station

Barry Links Station saw passenger numbers fall by two thirds last year
Barry Links Station saw passenger numbers fall by two thirds last year
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Barry Links in Angus has been named as Britain's least used station - with just 24 passengers a year.

Its patronage fell in 2016-17 by two thirds from 68 the previous year, according to figures from the Office of Rail and Road, which regulates track and station owner Network Rail.

Glasgow Central is also the second busiest station outside London after Birmingham New Street.

Glasgow Central is also the second busiest station outside London after Birmingham New Street.

However, locals claimed far more than two passengers a month used the station and were confident its fortunes would improve next year when the Open golf championship is held nearby.

The figures come weeks after Breich Station in West Lothian, which had just 48 passengers last year, was reprieved from closure.

BACKGROUND: Breich Station reprieved after outcry

Only two trains a day stop at Barry Links - at 6:08am and 7:13pm - with none on Sundays.

ScotRail said it had no plans to increase services but had no information to explain the drop in demand.

Brian Boyd, an independent Angus councillor, claimed Barry Links station is used much more than the figures suggest.

He said: "Many people buy 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.

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

"People at the west end of Carnoustie are closer to Barry Links than the main Carnoustie station so there would be a lot of disgruntled customers if it was ever closed down on the view that it's not used."

Mr Boyd also expects the station to be well used next summer as golf fans travel to the Open Championship.

He said: "With golf coming in 2018, it will used considerably more because it's right on the perimeter of the world-renowned golf course.

"It's an important station for the area."

Breich was threatened with closure because of the cost of upgrading work needed at the station as part of electrification of the Edinburgh-Glasgow line via Shotts.

The station, which is also served by just two trains a day, saw its passengers plummet from 138 in 2015-16.

Meanwhile, Glasgow Central increased its lead as Scotland's busiest station.

More than 32.1 million people used the station in 2016-17 - 2m more than the previous year.

The hub of the largest suburban rail network outside London pulled further ahead of Edinburgh Waverley, whose passengers increased by nearly 1m to 22.6m.

It was also the second busiest station outside London after Birmingham New Street.

London Waterloo maintained its title as Britain's busiest station with 99.4m passengers.

There were more than 2.9 billion entries and exits at all stations in Britain, an increase of 0.4 per cent on the previous year.

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