WHITCHURCH train station – once a substantial rail stop with two platforms, staff, and a goods shed – is now the least used station in Cardiff.
The station has just 16,202 passengers each year, compared to nearby Llandaff’s 448,000 annual estimated passenger usage according to the Office of Rail and Road statistics.
Serving as the penultimate stop before the line ends at Coryton, Whitchurch station became single-track in the 1960s and has no services on Sundays.
Locals were quick to give many reasons for why Whitchurch attracts so few passengers in comparison with nearby stations.
The unreliability of rail services at Whitchurch was a common criticism, as were complaints about the lack of parking and the relative frequency of trains at Llandaff station.
Several locals said they avoid the station due to worries over their safety, particularly at night.
One Whitchurch resident, Sophie Baron, commented that she had lived in the area for 31 years but does not know the location of Whitchurch train station.
Angela Weeks added: “It is like the Hogwarts line – no-one knows it’s there!”
Another local, Richard Williams, said: “It would be far better used if it were run properly. If there is a delay anywhere on the valley lines it seems that the first to be cancelled is Coryton line.”
“Many times the trains have terminated with no prior warning at Ty Glas station, which is in the middle of nowhere, on a dark wet winter night.
“The number of hours that I spent either driving my wife down to or back from Llandaff North or Central station I would be grateful to be returned.
“The tannoy announcements on Central give you no warning as to the cancellations up the line.”
Whitchurch resident Debbie Wharton said: “The station at Whitchurch doesn’t feel very safe. It is dark and isolated behind tall trees.
“I’d prefer to go to Coryton even though it’s a further walk, as it feels safer.”
Local resident Dan Cook expressed concern over the station’s accessibility: “It also has no parking and is difficult to access for disabled or elderly people.
“I imagine many people are reluctant to use it in the dark as it is not easily visible from the main road.”
Janet Osborne felt that parking was the main issue: “If some parking was freed up – maybe in Whitchurch hospital grounds as it’s closing – more people would use the station, especially as it’s so close to Coryton interchange.”
An Arriva Trains Wales spokesperson said: “Whitchurch station remains a popular station for local residents.
“However as it is on the Coryton line there is no Sunday service which will therefore impact on the usage statistics.”
Ramesh Patel, Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport was unavailable for comment.
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