NEW DATA shows that passenger numbers at Somerset West and Taunton train stations are dramatically lower than in the past.

Statistics from the Office of Rail and Road show an estimated 364,000 passengers used Somerset West and Taunton's two stations in 2020-21.

This was 77% fewer than in 2019-20, when 1.6 million travelled on trains in the area.

Taunton was the busier of the two stations, with 364,000 entries and exits by passengers however according to the date Bishops Lydeard saw zero passengers.

The figures are based primarily on ticket sales.

Andy Bagnall, director-general at industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said: “The station usage figures show how the rail industry kept people moving for the first year of the pandemic.

“Some of the entries on the list reflect where people like key workers were travelling from and also the acceleration of changes to how people are travelling after the pandemic.

“Rail companies are working together to welcome people back and the recent increase in passengers continues to both reflect and support the nation’s recovery.”

Across Great Britain, usage of railway stations fell from 3 billion in 2019-20 to 687 million – a fall of 77%.

Just six stations across Great Britain had no passengers in 2020-21, with one being Bishops Lydeard.

Separate figures from a YouGov poll of 56,000 adults show 51% of Britons think their local train services are very good or fairly good.

In the South West, 43% of people surveyed said the same.