To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of people who use Preston Park Station on a (a) week and (b) weekend day at (i) peak times and (ii) off peak times; by what mechanism the footfall at Preston Park Station was estimated prior to the changes to the timetable; what estimate has been made of the number of people who commute between Preston Park and London with a ticket which has Brighton as their departure or destination station; if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the mechanisms for estimating station use at stations which do not have ticket barriers; and if he will make a statement.
The Department collects some information on the number of passengers who use trains at selected stations, however it does not collect this information for Preston Park. Train operators use commercial passenger data and various modelling methods when making changes to the timetable. This data takes into account time of day, day of week and passengers using stations other than the one which is on their ticket.
In addition, the Office of Rail and Road publishes annual estimates of the total numbers of people entering, exiting and changing trains at each station in Great Britain. These show that in 2016/17, the latest year for which information is published, there were 527 thousand journeys (of which 211 thousand were season ticket journeys) that started or ended at Preston Park.
The methodology takes into account situations where passengers are travelling to or from a different destination to that on their ticket. For example, in the 2016/17 wave of ‘Estimates of Station Usage’, 88,372 entries and exits were reallocated from Brighton to Preston Park.
You can find the data and methodology report through this link: http://orr.gov.uk/statistics/published-stats/station-usage-estimates