NEW figures show the number of rail passenger journeys in stations across Hartlepool has shot up by more than 46,000 over the past year.
Official figures reveal Hartlepool train station, in Church Street and Seaton Carew station, in Seaton Lane, saw a total of 627,677 passenger journeys over a 12-month period.
From April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014, Hartlepool station’s patronage was 574,121, while Seaton Carew’s was 53,556.
Rail officials produced the latest data, which was discussed at a Hartlepool Borough Council meeting yesterday.
A report said: “The figures, when compared against those from 2012-13, show a total combined increase of 46,283, which equates to eight per cent. Individually, the increase for Hartlepool was 39,331, or 7.35 per cent, and for Seaton Carew it was 6,952 or 14.92 per cent.”
The report was presented to the council’s neighbourhood services committee.
Mike Blair, the council’s highways, traffic and transport manager, said: “The purpose is to let people know how well the rail system is being used in Hartlepool and Seaton Carew.
“It has been increasing year on year and the figures show there is quite a lot of additional passengers going through the stations in town.”
Committee members noted the findings of the report.
Both Hartlepool and Seaton Carew stations have been revamped in recent years and that work was praised by councillors.
Coun Jackson said: “I know that the officers have worked extremely hard with Network Rail.
“I would like to pass on my thanks to the officers given how much improvement there has been at the stations in Hartlepool and Seaton Carew.
“Can we continue to work with Network Rail to keep on making improvements in the future?” That was agreed.
During 2013-14, a grand total of 6,345,704 passengers were recorded using Tees valley stations - a 2.8 per cent rise compared against the previous year.
Members were also told that the new James Cook University Hospital Station, which opened in mid-May, is the first to be added since Yarm opened in 1996.
Passengers travelling from Hartlepool have to switch trains at Thornaby before making their way to the station serving James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough.
Mr Blair said: “It is another way for people to get to James Cook University Hospital.”
A Connect Tees Valley Rail report provides summary of patronage for all Tees Valley stations on a quarterly basis and patronage data for all stations in the Tees Valley is supplied to CTV every month by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) and Northern Rail.