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South Western Railway passenger train numbers fell by three quarters during Covid pandemic year

THERE was a three-quarter fall in the number of passengers using South Western Railway trains during the 2020/21 financial year, figures have revealed.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) said SWR trains hosted 45.7-million people for the year – markedly down on the 203.7-million in 2019/20.

During 2020/21, 3.37-million were in the first quarter of the year, with 13.9-million in the second, 19.9-million in the third and 8.4-million in the fourth.

South Western Railway has been hard hit – as have all operators
South Western Railway has been hard hit – as have all operators

Nationally, across the same period rail passenger journeys in Great Britain fell to the lowest annual levels since at least before 1872, when records started, according to the ORR.

In total there were 388-million journeys made, which equates to only 22% of the 1.74-billion in 2019/20. Total passenger revenue was £1.9bn, down from £10.4bn the previous year.

Graham Richards, ORR director of planning and performance, said: "This unprecedented fall in passenger numbers, the lowest annual fall since the time series began, has clearly had an impact on both rail usage and ticketing revenue.

"Despite this, recent estimates published by the Department for Transport show that rail usage has recovered to around 45% of pre coronavirus levels by the end of May 2021."

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