Across-the-board increase in use of county train stations welcomed

New figures released by the independent regulator of Britain’s railways show that all of East Lothian’s train stations saw increases in their use for the period April 2012 to March 2013, with Prestonpans station recording an increase of over 12 per cent.

The Office of Rail Regulation’s estimates of station usage statistics record the number of passengers travelling to and from each station (entries and exits). The figures are based on ticket sales data recorded in rail industry systems.

All of the five stations within Iain Gray’s East Lothian constituency showed increased usage in the period 2012/13 compared with the same period in 2011/12. The increase of 26,432 at Prestonpans station was by far the largest, taking the total number of entries and exits up to 237,070.

Longniddry showed the second biggest percentage increase (8.83%) taking its total up to 177,840, while Drem’s increase was estimated at 7,906 (7.48%) to total 113,556. North Berwick recorded an increase of 19,598 up to a total of 489,680, representing a 4.16% increase. Dunbar station showed an increase of 3.13% over the year.

Mr Gray welcomed the increased station usage as good news for public transport in the county and suggested that it also underlines the strong case for the introduction of a new Dunbar local service.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“I welcome the fact that all five of the stations in my constituency have seen good increases in their use over the period covered by these figures. This is positive news for the travelling public, the local economy and train operators. While the operators still have many issues to address, not least the cost of fares, the figures show that the public can be enticed to use trains more frequently.

“This bodes well for the future of train travel in East Lothian, including the proposed Dunbar local service. The increasing use of train services certainly underlines the strength of the case for linking Berwick and Edinburgh via Dunbar and developing a new station at East Linton. I will continue to take every opportunity to champion the case for improving local services.”