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:
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.
For the Severn Beach Line, according to ticket sales data, passenger numbers doubled between 2008 and 2013 and then have shown gradual growth until 2017. This growth is due to increased ridership and, in part, improved revenue collection. FoSBR have not yet updated this graph to reflect 2019 data as we are awaiting publication of the Severnside Community Rail Partnership (SCRP) Progress Report in February 2020. SCRP supply approximated passenger numbers to December 2019 in their Progress Report.
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.
We have historically had supplementary statistics to monitor passenger numbers on the Severn Beach Line,. However, the June passenger count organised by Severnside Community Rail Partnership and the November passenger count organised by the local authority are no longer carried out due to lack of funding and resources.