THEO STEEL reviews growth on the lines from East Anglia into the university city
Earlier in the year Greater Anglia announced that over one million passenger journeys were made on its Norwich to Cambridge service during 2018, a rise of 3.6% on the previous year. The direct service was launched by Anglia Railways in September 2002.
The announcement caused me to look at the station usage statistics for the route from the Office of Rail and Road, which are shown in Table 1. Prior to the service launching, only Thetford (served by the Norwich to Liverpool trains) had more than a rudimentary service. I have excluded Shippea Hill, Lakenheath, Spooner Row, Harling Road and Eccles Road, as they collectively accounted for just 7,000 entries/exits in 1997-98 and 8,000 in 2017-18 and have a very limited service.
I have also extended the table to include Waterbeach and Cambridge to demonstrate that the opening of Cambridge North has prompted real growth. GA reports that in calendar year 2018 Cambridge North welcomed 546,717 passengers, a 28% year-on-year increase.