Just eight people used Teesside Airport railway station in a year – helping it keep its title as the UK’s least used.
The single-figure total for the 12 months to March 2013 has emerged in new Government passenger figures.
And the dismal performance was even worse than the previous year, when only 14 passengers used the airport link.
The station has just two Northern Rail services on each Sunday – the minimum required by law to avoid formal closure.
So remote and underused is the platform that even the Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) website ignores the station less than a mile from the terminal and claims that: “Darlington Train Station is the nearest train station to Durham Tees Valley Airport, located just 7 miles away.”
The Peel Group, which owns the majority of DTVA shares said it would “welcome” improvements to the station.
Peel Group’s strategic planning director, Peter Nears, said: “It has been recognised for a long time that, while the rail line is in close proximity to the airport, the current halt is not suitable and we are aware that there are proposals to include a new station as part of plans to improve local rail services.
“Implementing improvements is, of course, a matter for Network Rail and the local transport bodies and we would very much welcome early progress.”
The low usage, revealed by Office of Rail Regulation, comes after the airport was hit by falling passenger numbers.
Just 161,092 people passed through the terminal in 2013 compared with 900,000 at its peak in 2006. But it since suffered the loss of various flights, including its London link.
A Northern Rail spokeswoman said: “The service which calls at Teesside Airport station is one which is specified in our franchise agreement.
“The line between Darlington and Middlesbrough has attracted a growing number of passengers over recent years. However Teesside Airport station on the route, has not enjoyed the same success.
“We support proposals to relocate the station, as part of the wider Tees Valley Metro development, to better serve the needs of passengers.
“We are already working with partners involved on initial stages of the scheme including the opening of a new station at The James Cook University Hospital and improvements at other stations on the route.”
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette 10 May 2014