Passenger Growth

These graphs show the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) statistics for number of passenger entries and exits at local stations of interest from 2001 to 2019.

Source: ORR passenger entries & exits – data collected each year to end-March, up to & including March 2019, published January 2020:

Passenger growth - large stations
Passenger growth – large stations

The year to March 2019 shows a mixed picture. The year includes many weekends of engineering line closures plus the 23-day Filton Bank blockade in November 2018. Many stations on and to the north of Filton Bank show a drop-off in passenger numbers for this period. Most of the Severn Beach Line stations are similarly impacted.

Another factor may be problems in reliability of local services over the spring and summer of 2018 as the Bristol Area Resignalling project completed in March 2018.  Delays and cancellations continued over the summer, decreasing gradually until the November blockade. FoSBR recorded delays and cancelled services on the Severn Beach Line here.

Going forward, next year’s statistics will also reflect a period of change, as they will incorporate the GWR December 2019 timetable change increasing the number of services from Bristol to London.

Passenger growth - local stations
Passenger growth – local stations
Passenger growth - other stations
Passenger growth – other stations

For the Severn Beach Line, according to ticket sales data, passenger numbers doubled between 2008 and 2013 and then showed gradual growth up to 2017.

2018 was a year of transition with the blockade of the Filton Bank for four-tracking, but 2019 has seen a resurgence in passenger numbers to crest the 1.4 MILLION ridership figure for the first time.

Passenger growth - Severn Beach Line
Passenger growth – Severn Beach Line

*ORR (Office of Rail Regulation) data based on ticket sales Lennon data approximated to calendar year end-December 2019: some journeys made on rover tickets or employee passes or substitute buses may not have been recorded.  Uncollected fares are not included and are estimated at up to 15% of the journey totals.  Figures taken from SCRP Progress Reports up to January 2020. 

**Weekday counts by Severnside Community Rail Partnership (SCRP) and West of England Partnership (WEP) were extrapolated to annual count by following formula: 36 weeks of 5 weekdays plus 16 (holiday) weeks of 3 weekdays plus 52 weekends of 3/5 weekday (ie, 2/5 Saturday + 1/5 Sunday). The supplementary passenger counts organised by SCRP (June) and WEP (November) are no longer carried out due to lack of funding and resources.

A general note on ORR data: ORR statistics are generated from ticket sales derived from LENNON, the rail industry’s ticketing and revenue system. However, LENNON does not attribute individual station figures correctly in a zonal fares system such as the Severn Beach Line. Also, a line such as the Severn Beach Line does not achieve 100% revenue collection so the data underscores the actual journeys made.