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 (2016) 1) Waterloo (100.4m) 2) King's Cross St Pancras (95.0m) 3) ↑1 Victoria (83.5m) 4) ↓1 Oxford Circus (83.3m) 5) Liverpool Street (71.6m) 6) London Bridge (70.7m) 7) Stratford (67.0m) 8) Bank/Monument (64.3m) 9) Canary Wharf (54.8m) 10) Paddington (49.5m)
Waterloo remains London's busiest tube station, and becomes the first tube station ever to serve over 100 million passengers in one year. That's an increase of 5 million since the previous year, which is going some. There's remarkably little movement in the top ten rankings this year, with only Victoria and Oxford Circus changing places, the latter having lost 9 million passengers since last year. The two stations with considerable upward momentum are Stratford, which has put on 6 million passengers, and Bank/Monument, which is up 7 million, and we may see these climb the chart further in the future.
For comparison, five years ago Waterloo had 56m passengers, but it's now 100m. Over the same period Canary Wharf has rocketed from 22m to 55m, Bank/Monument from 17m to 64m, and Liverpool Street has doubled from 36m to 72m. Either there's a new method of counting the data, or London's tubes are getting hugely more crowded.
London's ten busiest tube stations that aren't also National Rail stations (2016) 1) Oxford Circus (83.3m) 2) Bank/Monument (64.3m) 3) Canary Wharf (54.8m) 4) ↑1 Piccadilly Circus (41.3m) 5) ↑2 Green Park (41.2m) 6) ↑2 Bond Street (39.5m) 7) ↑* Tottenham Court Road (39.3m) 8) ↓4 Leicester Square (37.8m) 9) ↓3 Holborn (34.0m) 10) ↓1 South Kensington (33.6m)
The top three tube-only stations have remained static over the last twelve months, but Leicester Square's tumble has allowed other central stations to overtake, and Tottenham Court Road has bounced back now its Crossrail-related closures are over. 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 an exception - that's simply work - and South Kensington's appearance is perhaps a surprise - can the museums really be that popular?
London's ten busiest tube stations outside Zone 1 (2016) 1) Stratford (67.0m) 2) Canary Wharf (54.8m) 3) Brixton (33.5m) 4) Finsbury Park (32.7m) 5) Hammersmith (District & Piccadilly) (29.4m) 6) North Greenwich (26.5m) 7) ↑1 Camden Town (22.9m) 8) ↓1 Shepherd's Bush (22.84m) 9) ↑1 Walthamstow Central (22.77m) 10) ↓1 Highbury & Islington (20.2m)
The top of this list has barely changed since last year, with the swaps further down mostly statistical technicalities. A lot of these non-central hotspots are at interchanges with other railway lines, hence in 11th place we have Seven Sisters and in 12th place Ealing Broadway. Meanwhile North Greenwich's pre-eminence isn't so much down to events at the O2, but rather millions of SE Londoners changing for the bus.
Ten tube stations where passenger numbers have tripled since 2011: Moorgate, Bank/Monument, Roding Valley, Southwark, Aldgate, Euston Square, Great Portland Street, St. James's Park, Chancery Lane, Chesham
Ten tube stations with fewer passengers in 2016 than in 2011: Charing Cross (↓50%), Kensington Olympia (↓40%), Covent Garden (↓22%), Notting Hill Gate (↓9%), Leicester Square (↓9%), Marble Arch (↓7%), Knightsbridge (↓6%), Heathrow Terminal 4 (↓6%), Camden Town (↓2%), Bayswater (↓1%)
And now for my favourite list of the year...
London's ten least busy tube stations (2016) 1) Roding Valley (367000) 2) Chigwell (532000) 3) Grange Hill (663000) 4) Theydon Bois (850000) 5) ↑2 North Ealing (905000) 6) Moor Park (915000) 7) ↓2 Chesham (1070000) 8) ↑* Chorleywood (1070200) 9) ↑1 Ruislip Gardens (1072000) 10) ↓1 Croxley (1080000)
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 treble 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, but Chesham and Croxley continue to pile on more users every year so may eventually nudge their way out of the bottom 10. Indeed five years ago 27 tube stations had less than a million passengers, but this year there are only six! Note how the passenger totals for stations 7 to 10 are incredibly close this year, so don't read too much into their precise positions.
The next ten least busy stations: Upminster Bridge, Ickenham, South Kenton, Fairlop, Mill Hill East, Chalfont & Latimer, West Harrow, Barkingside, West Finchley, West Ruislip
The ten least busy tube stations in Zone 1 (2016) 1) Lambeth North (0m) 2) Regent's Park (3.4m) 3) ↑1 Bayswater (4.8m) 4) ↓1 Edgware Road (5.0m) 5) Borough (5.9m) 6) Mansion House (6.1m) 7) ↑2 Hyde Park Corner (6.3m) 8) Edgware Road (7.0m) 9) ↓2 Lancaster Gate (7.1m) 10) ↑* Aldgate (8.0m)
Lambeth North was of course closed all last year for of maintenance, but it usually tops this list anyway. The station that's always been in this list but this year drops out is Cannon Street, because that's what happens when there's massive engineering works at London Bridge.
London's most average tube station (mean): Bermondsey (11.1m) London's most average tube station (median): Wembley Central (5.7m)
» 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