Data has revealed the most, and least, used railway stations in the UK – including those in Lancashire.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has released the data which is generated by reviewing passenger numbers in each train station through their ‘entries and exits’.

The ORR has calculated the most popular rail facilities in the region – and those that should be used more.

According to the data, Preston station is the most used in Lancashire, seeing 1,155,972 entries and exists between 2020-2021.

It is the 123rd most used in the UK.

These figures may be unsurprising to many, especially Preston councillors who describe the city as the “administrative heart of Lancashire”.

Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader at Preston City Council, said: “Preston is the administrative heart of Lancashire, with key transport links to the rest of the country.

“The location of Preston makes it a great city to live, work and visit with the Train Station being conveniently located in the heart of the city. The station is an iconic part of our city and boasts outstanding architecture inside and out.

“Preston continues to evolve, committed to growth for its residents, businesses and visitors and the station is a key part to this evolution as well as promoting public transport to encourage more people to leave their car at home.”

The county’s second most used station is Ormskirk which saw an impressive 549,410 entries and exists in 2021/2021.

Blackpool North (534,858) and Lancaster (521,432) weren’t far behind.

The most used railway station in East Lancashire, and fifth most used overall in Lancashire, was Blackburn station.

It saw 393,174 passengers between 2020-2021.

Despite the impressive figures and the stations scoring highly for passenger numbers, rail journeys as a whole have fallen during the pandemic, and significantly lessened compared to the 2019/20 passenger data.

In 2019/20, Preston saw over 4.9 million passengers, while Ormskirk and Blackpool North received 2,409, 269 and 1,791,822, respectively. 

Here are the 10 most visited railway stations in Lancashire for 2020/2021:

On the other end of the spectrum is Hoscar Railway station, in Ormskirk, which ranks as the 93rd least used railway station in Lancashire.

In 2020/2021 just 194 people used the railway station – which is 762 down on the year before.

The station dates back to 1871 when it was built by Manchester and Southport Railway.

It once had a goods yard and was used by local farmers to transport good around the north.

Last year, a YouTuber visited this railway station to see exactly how disused it is.

Salwick station, in Preston, isn’t far behind with just 352 total passenger visits over the most recent 12 month period – this is down from 1,670 in 2019-20.

Wennington in Lancaster (430), Moss Side in Lytham St Annes (482), Bescar Lane in Ormskirk (572) and New Lane in Ormskirk (612) were also among some of the least visited.

The least visited station in East Lancashire is Pleasington station, near Blackburn, which had 2,772 visitors in 2020-2021.

Here are the 10 least visited railway stations in Lancashire:

A spokesperson for Northern Rail said: “Station usage numbers are generally a reflection of the size of the local population that they serve, hence why the bigger areas, Preston, Bolton, Lancaster etc are at the top of the list and smaller locations towards the bottom.

“Station usage is obviously down year on year because of the impact of the pandemic on numbers travelling.

“Numbers are however increasing and we are working hard to provide customers with as much information and confidence as possible. Leisure locations are seeing positive increases.”