Hurrah, it's that time of year again when TfL silently updates its spreadsheet of total annual passenger numbers at each tube station.
London's ten busiest tube stations (2017) 1) ↑1 King's Cross St Pancras (97.9m) 2) ↓1 Waterloo (91.3m) 3) ↑1 Oxford Circus (84.1m) 4) ↓1 Victoria (79.4m) 5) ↑1 London Bridge (69.1m) 6) ↓1 Liverpool Street (67.8m) 7) Stratford (62.0m) 8) Bank/Monument (61.8m) 9) Canary Wharf (50.9m) 10) Paddington (48.9m)
It's been a long time coming, but King's Cross St Pancras finally takes the crown as London's busiest tube station. Its passenger numbers are up 3m on 2016, while Waterloo slips 7m back to take second place. A couple of other swaps follow, with Oxford Circus overtaking Victoria, and London Bridge nudging ahead of Liverpool Street. King's Cross St Pancras and Oxford Circus are the only stations in the top 10 with more passengers than last year, which might surprise you if you thought the tube was getting inexorably busier. Even Stratford is 5m down, but retains seventh position.
For comparison, ten years ago King's Cross St Pancras had 67m passengers, but it's now 98m. Over the same period Stratford has rocketed from 27m to 62m and Bank/Monument from 43m to 62m. Only Victoria has approximately the same number of passengers as it had in 2007, with the average increase in the Top 10 being around 30%.
London's ten busiest tube stations that aren't also National Rail stations (2017) 1) Oxford Circus (84.1m) 2) Bank/Monument (61.8m) 3) Canary Wharf (50.9m) 4) ↑3 Tottenham Court Road (41.3m) 5) ↓1 Piccadilly Circus (40.8m) 6) ↓1 Green Park (39.3m) 7) ↓1 Bond Street (38.8m) 8) Leicester Square (36.7m) 9) ↑1 South Kensington (33.9m) 10) ↑* Brixton (32.8m)
The top three tube-only stations have remained static over the last twelve months, while Tottenham Court Road leapfrogs to fourth now its street level exits have been improved. The majority of these ten non-rail stations are at the heart of the West End, delivering millions of Londoners to the shops and to work. Canary Wharf is the busiest station on just one line, keeping the whole of Docklands ticking over. And here's Brixton appearing for the first time, having managed to edge out Holborn, indeed it's added 12m extra passengers over the last ten years.
London's ten busiest tube stations outside Zone 1 (2017) 1) Stratford (62.0m) 2) Canary Wharf (50.9m) 3) Brixton (32.8m) 4) Finsbury Park (31.2m) 5) Hammersmith (District & Piccadilly) (29.3m) 6) North Greenwich (28.2m) 7) ↑1 Shepherd's Bush (22.6m) 8) ↓1 Camden Town (22.5m) 9) ↑1 Highbury & Islington (20.1m) 10) ↑* Seven Sisters (18.3m)
The top of this list has barely changed since last year, with the swap between 7th and 8th a statistical technicality. A number of these non-central hotspots are at interchanges with other railway lines, which is how Seven Sisters has managed to nudge into 10th, with Barking and Ealing Broadway close behind. Meanwhile North Greenwich's strong showing isn't so much down to events at the O2, but rather millions of SE Londoners changing for the bus.
Ten tube stations with the biggest increase in passenger numbers since 2007: Chesham (↑163%), Stratford (↑142%), Cannon Street (↑128%), Canons Park (↑100%), Southwark (↑96%), Barkingside (↑89%), Colindale (↑88%), Wembley Central (↑85%), Roding Valley (↑83%), Aldgate East (↑83%)
Ten tube stations with fewer passengers in 2017 than in 2007: Chorleywood (↓25%), Bayswater (↓22%), Sudbury Town (↓21%), Knightsbridge (↓20%), Russell Square (↓16%), Wimbledon (↓15%), Sudbury Hill (↓15%), Charing Cross (↓13%), Holloway Road (↓9%), Ealing Common (↓7%)
And now for my favourite list of the year...
London's ten least busy tube stations (2017) 1) Roding Valley (368000) 2) Chigwell (499000) 3) Grange Hill (669000) 4) ↑4 Chorleywood (750000) 5) North Ealing (827000) 6) Moor Park (938000) 7) ↓3 Theydon Bois (954000) 8) ↑2 Croxley (1129000) 9) ↓2 Chesham (1134000) 10) ↑* Upminster Bridge (1145000)
The least used stations on the Underground remain those at the Essex end of the Central line, with poor Roding Valley proving that you can almost double your passenger numbers over a five year period and still be the least used station on the Underground. The other least used hotspot is the far end of the Metropolitan line, where Chorleywood has unexpectedly collapsed this year, whereas Moor Park, Chesham and Croxley continue to pile on more users. Note that eight out of ten of the least used stations are outside London, the one glaring oddity being North Ealing, which is in zone 3 but with more popular stations close by. Also, ten years ago 16 tube stations had fewer than a million passengers, but now it's only seven.
The next ten least busy stations: Ruislip Gardens, Ickenham, South Kenton, Fairlop, Mill Hill East, West Harrow, Barkingside, Chalfont & Latimer, West Finchley, West Acton
The least busy tube station in each zone (2017) zone 1) Lambeth North (3.5m) zone 2) Kensington (Olympia) (2.0m) zone 3) North Ealing (0.83m) zone 4) Roding Valley (0.37m) zone 5) Ruislip Gardens (1.2m) zone 6) Moor Park (0.94m) zone 7) Chorleywood (0.75m) zone 8) Chalfont & Latimer (1.7m) zone 9) Chesham (1.1m)
And finally, if you add all the entrance and exit figures together, and divide by two, you should get a total number of journeys made on the tube in 2017. That total is 1473 million, slightly below the 2016 figure, but above the number for 2015. This is the first year since 2009 that the total number of journeys has fallen... but the 2017 total is still 24% higher than ten years ago.
London's most average tube station (mean): Leytonstone (11.0m) London's most average tube station (median): Chalk Farm (5.9m)
» Tube passenger data can be found here (total annual entry and exit frequencies)
» For the annual rail passenger data update, see last December's post