9 March 2023

The Surrey station named best for London commuters with 'fast' trains to capital

South Western Railway said it was "thrilled" to see Woking's station on the list, with four others in the county making the top 20.

Analysis from rail travel comparison site On Time Trains has named Woking as the best station for commuters to London for 2022 to 2023. It comes as Guildford also made the top 10 list of best stations, while both Dorking and Leatherhead featured in the top 20.

Surrey train operator South Western Railway responded to the list’s publication - the first post-pandemic - and said: “We are thrilled that Woking has been named the best rail station for London commuters by On Time Trains. They considered on-time performance, frequency of services, speed of travel, and value for money to crown Woking as the winner.”

On Time Trains announced the list on Wednesday (March 8) and said: “It’s all change in our first annual London Commuter Station Ranking since the pandemic. Woking tops the 2022 leaderboard (up from 15th) whilst St Albans falls to last place.”

Woking jumped 14 places compared to its previous 2018 rank which made it the station that saw the third biggest improvement out of the 30 on the list. This is thanks to the results of the On Time Trains analysis that revealed a 69% on-time score, as well as a trip value of 34p per mile and a service frequency every seven minutes.

Guildford was the “biggest riser” up 17 places to ninth while Dorking and Leatherhead also made the top 20, placed at 16 and 17 respectively. The two Mole Valley stations both rose five places compared to their previous rank but were let down by poor scores in the frequency and speed categories of the research. Redhill (25th) and Oxted (29th) were the other two Surrey-based stations to feature.

On Woking, On Time Trains said: “Its commuter services to London Waterloo remain fast and frequent, with services running every 7 minutes (a modest increase of 1 minute vs 2018) at a speed of 51mph (vs a list average of 42mph).” It continued: “Woking's jump to first place is due to the performance improvements of its South Western Railway-operated services.”

On Time Trains went on to reveal that passenger numbers had returned to 80% of pre-pandemic levels by mid-2022 as work-from-home advice was dropped. It continued however: “Performance deteriorated as passengers returned, though on most routes overall performance in 2022 was in fact still better than pre-pandemic levels.”

he 30 stations selected in the research were chosen as a representative group of major travel hubs outside the M25 that are within an hour of the capital and that had seen more than a million pre-pandemic passengers per year. They were then ranked against categories that included performance and likelihood of cancellations, frequency of services, speed, and value for money.

Credit: Article by By Kieran Graves, Surrey Live

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