A TRAIN station close to Ellesmere Port has been named the least used in Britain with precisely zero passengers using it last year.

Stanlow and Thornton, which lies on the Hooton–Helsby line, was one of six stations across Britain with no recorded entries and exits between April 1 2020 and March 31 2021.

The station is located within the Stanlow Refinery site and just three trains call there each day in each direction.

The limited numbers of passengers that do use the station are usually employees at the refinery.

Two of the Helsby-bound trains continue to Warrington Bank Quay, Manchester Victoria and Leeds, whilst the first morning train of the day starts from Liverpool Lime Street and the afternoon one from Leeds.

Nearly 200 railway stations across Britain had fewer than 1,000 entries and exits, with six recording no entries or exits during the last year as a result of services temporarily suspended at the majority of these stations due to the pandemic.

There were 18 stations with less than 20 and 59 with less than 100 recorded entries in 2020-21.

Britain’s railway was severely impacted by the pandemic last year. Numbers from the Office of Rail and Road show only 388 million journeys were made in 2020-21 (April to March) – down 78 per cent and equates to 22.3 per cent of the 1,739 million journeys made in 2019-20 – representing the lowest level of annual passenger usage since before the time series began in 1872.

The five other stations with no recorded entries and exits were Abererch (Gwynedd, Wales), Beasdale (Highland, Scotland), Llanbedr (Gwynedd, Wales), Sampford Courtenay (Devon, England) and Sugar Loaf (Powys, Wales).

At the other end of the scale, Manchester Piccadilly had 5.1m passenger entries and exits between April 1 2020 and March 31 2021 – underlying its importance as a key interchange and destination for the British public during the pandemic – despite an 83 per cent decrease in passenger numbers compared to 2019-20.

Liverpool Central was the next most used across the North West, with 3.6m entries and exits.

Liverpool Lime Street with its 3.51m entries and exits was one of two stations included in the top 10 most used stations outside of London that did not appear last year.

Elsewhere across the region, Moorfields (1.6m) and Manchester Victoria (1.5m) remained in the top five of the most used stations in the north west.

It is the first time in 17 years that London Waterloo is not the most used station. The London station saw the biggest decrease in passenger usage, with 12.21m entries and exits compared to the 86m in 2019-20.

Feras Alshaker, Director of Planning and Performance at the Office of Rail and Road said: “Throughout 2020-21 the railways remained an essential service for those people who needed to travel during a year which was impacted by the pandemic.

“Manchester Picaddily has consistently appeared as one of the most used stations outside of London and it is clear it remained a key destination for many passengers through the year.

“We have seen hundreds of railway stations with very few passenger entries and exits. However, we know that recent figures show leisure journeys are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, but a slower increase in commuter journeys.”