Barking was Britain's ninth most used station in 2020/21, figures show
- Credit: Google
Barking station was one of Britain's ten busiest in 2020/21, figures show.
It ranked ninth and above major London stations such as King's Cross and Paddington for usage during the pandemic, according to the Office of Rail and Road.
Just under seven million people were recorded entering and exiting the station in the 12 months between April 2020 and March 2021.
During much of the year in which the figures were recorded, Covid restrictions were in place such as public transport being limited for use by key workers.
Barking station manager Lisa Hayter said staff are proud of efforts to keep people moving during the pandemic.
"We could see for ourselves that Barking has been comparatively busy, with a high number of key workers using the station, but we're proud to see that Barking is officially one of the most important stations in the country."
Barking and Dagenham Council felt it was a "major station" used by key workers during the pandemic.
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A spokesperson said: “Barking station is a priority both as a gateway to the borough and also to commuters.
"The council and its regeneration arm, Be First, is working closely with the operator c2c and Network Rail with a series of improvements to the station interior and surrounds and also to improve capacity."
Work is underway on restoring the station facade, part of plans to create a new ticket hall.
Stratford was the busiest station nationwide during the same 12 month period, with almost 14 million passenger entries and exits.
It was the first time in 17 years that London Waterloo was not Britain's most-used station.
Unmesh Desai, London Assembly member for City and East which includes Barking and Dagenham and Newham, felt the figures showed the popularity of east London as a place to live since the London 2012 Olympics.
He said: “Londoners did the right thing during the pandemic and stayed away from public transport for non-essential journeys.
"The fact that Stratford and Barking were so busy suggests that these were the stations that key workers were using the most to get to and from work.
“It points to how important east London is. I hope that both stations continue to top the table in future years as we gradually recover from the pandemic - especially with the extension of the Overground to Barking Riverside next year."