Stratford was busiest station on TfL network last year, data reveals

Stratford station is the seventh busiest in the UK Picture: Ken Mears

Stratford Station was London’s busiest underground station last year - Credit: Archant

Stratford beat commuter hubs King's Cross and Waterloo to become the busiest station on the Transport for London (TfL) network last year, according to new data.

Sitting in Zone 2/3, Stratford is the first station outside Zone 1 to be named busiest in the capital; it has placed seventh since 2011, traditionally being beaten to the top spots by Waterloo, King's Cross and London Victoria.

However, lockdown restrictions last year put a stop to commuter traffic through these central London stations, with passenger numbers at King's Cross falling by over two thirds from almost 90 million in 2019 to just over 27 million in 2020, and dropping at Waterloo from 70 million in 2019 to just over 22 million last year.

But Stratford – which connects the Jubilee and Central lines with the DLR, London Overground, TfL rail and trains to the east of England – saw traffic only fall by 50 per cent from around 64 million in 2019 to over 28 million in 2020.

West Ham MP Lyn Brown said the results were a "reflection of the types of jobs that people in the constituency hold, which are not the sort of jobs that you can do sitting at home".

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"People living in the areas around Stratford have had to keep accessing the transport system throughout the pandemic,” she added.

Stratford was the major transport terminal for the 2012 London Olympic games, prior to which it underwent a major regeneration programme - a Newham Council spokesperson said the results are “a clear example of the legacy value of transport and other pre-Olympic investment in the area”.

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They added: “It is also evidence of Stratford’s increasing attractiveness as both a destination and an interchange. This will continue to grow as Elizabeth Line services commence in earnest in 2022.”

TfL said it cannot predict whether Stratford will hold on to the title of busiest station as lockdown restrictions are eased, and the return to central London offices mean increased traffic for other stops.

A spokesperson said: “It is not really possible to predict how people will move around London when we start coming out of lockdown and returning to some sense of normality.”

King's Cross, which was the busiest station from 2017 to 2019, came second in the rankings with just over 27.5 million passengers. The third, fourth and fifth places were taken by London Bridge, Oxford Circus and Waterloo respectively.

Footfall at TfL stations is recorded by tap counts of contactless, oyster card or tickets through the barriers.

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