TRAIN stations across East Lancashire have seen record low passenger figures in the Covid hit year.

The statistics were yesterday revealed by the The Office of Rail and Road for the 2020/21 year and saw every station in Blackburn and Burnley see passenger decreases of at least 64 per cent, with the majority above 70 per cent.

Blackburn station was still the most used with 393,174 people passing through it, but, this is a decrease of 70 per cent on the previous year where over 1.3 million people used the station.

Office of Rail and Road director of planning and performance Feras Alshaker 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.

"This year we have seen many 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, while there has been a slower increase in commuter journeys."

Blackburn was also only one of two stations in the area to register over 100,000 entries and exits, with the other being Accrington station with 119,210 passengers, down 74 per cent from the 2019/20 figure of 465,758.

Burnley Manchester Road saw a 79 per cent decrease in usage with 99,694 people using it, the biggest decrease seen in the area.

The least used station in the area was Pleasington with only 2,772 passengers using it, with Hapton (4,756) and Burnley Barracks (9,316) being the others with less than 10,000 users.

The low passenger numbers were a common theme throughout the country, as nationally passenger numbers decreased by 78 per cent, the lowest level of rail journeys across Britain since at least before 1872 according to the ORR.

The statistics were expected to be record low numbers, with lockdown restrictions and working from home advice meaning commuting journeys were kept to a minimum.