Leicester tops 'least railway stations per population' poll


Leicester tops a list of places in Britain with the fewest number of railway stations per population, Press Association research has revealed.

The city has just one station serving almost 350,000 people.

Hull is in second place as its only station serves nearly 260,000 people, while Oldham is third with one for 230,000 residents.

At the peak of the railway boom in the late 19th century, Leicester boasted four mainline stations. This number fell to just one in the 1960s.

Areas served by a mixture of mainline and light rail services, such as Sunderland and Wolverhampton, were not included in the ranking.

Campaign for Better Transport's Leicestershire chairman, Terry Kirby, said public transport in the area "could be a lot better".

He continued: "We've struggled for 20 to 30 years. Leicester station is busy. There are only four platforms.

"Cardiff is a similar sized city but it has more than a dozen stations."

The Welsh capital has 20 stations, which works out as one per 17,858 people.

Calls to reopen the Ivanhoe line - which runs from Leicester to Burton-upon-Trent - to passenger trains for the first time since the 1960s have been ongoing for two decades.

But Mr Kirby said transport campaigners had been "banging heads against a brick wall" because of opposition due to the cost of the scheme, estimated in 2008 to be almost £50 million.

The City of London was found to top a list of the highest concentration of stations per population, with one for just 1,460 residents.

It is followed by the Highlands of Scotland (one per 3,968 people) and Gwynedd in Wales (one per 4,551 people).

Outside of London, the built-up area with the most stations per population is Scarborough, where one station serves 7,707 people.

Here is the top 10 places in Britain with the fewest number of railway stations per population:

1. Leicester: one station per 342,627 people

2. Hull: one per 258,995

3. Oldham: one per 230,823

4. Northampton: one per 222,462

5. Swindon: one per 217,160

6. Peterborough: one per 193,980

7. Oxford: one per 159,574

8. Nottingham: one per 159,451

9. Preston: one per 141,302

10. Norwich: one per 138,872