A boom in rail travel has taken place in the Horsham area with massive increases in the number of people using local trains.
Growing populations and changing work and travel patterns have led to year-on-year increases at Horsham, Littlehaven, Faygate, Christ’s Hospital, Warnham, Billingshurst, Pulborough and Amberley over the past two decades.
Last week Horsham MP Jeremy Quin and South Downs and Arundel MP Nick Herbert - along with other Sussex MPs - met with rail officials seeking substantial improvements to what they have called ‘abysmal’ train services throughout the region.
But figures released this week by the Campaign for Better Transport might go some way to explaining some of the problems.
Faygate Station has undergone a staggering 570 per cent increase in the number of passengers over the past 20 years.
In 1998, the station handled 2,019 passenger ‘entries and exits’ which rose to a massive 13,532 in 2015.
Warnham Station was not far behind with a huge 490 per cent rise in passenger numbers.
In 1998, the station dealt with 2,366 passengers which rose to 13,966 by 2015.
Meanwhile, passenger levels at Christ’s Hospital Station rose a massive 161 per cent.
In 1998 the station handled 70,105 passengers which increased to 183,174 last year.
Littlehaven Station saw a 96 per cent increase over the past 20 years.
In 1998 the station dealt with 165,422 passengers, rising to 323,600 last year.
Horsham Station itself has also grown. In 1998 it dealt with1,1454,164 passengers which rose to 2,837 in 2015 - a rise of 95 per cent.
Billingshurst Station saw an 87 per cent increase over the past two decades .
In 1998 it dealt with 266,273 passengers which rose to 497,525 in 2015 .
Passenger traffic at Pulborough Station rose more modestly with 305,407 passengers recorded in 1998, rising to 422,196 in 2015 - an increase of 38 per cent.
Amberley recorded another large surge - rising by 113 per cent over the 20 year period.
In 1998 the station recorded 27,356 passengers which went up last year to 58,380.
Andrew Allen, from the Campaign for Better Transport, which has drawn up a map of rail passenger growth through the country, said: “The result says a lot about rail’s strengths as well as showing where investment and support are now long overdue.”