There has been another significant rise in the number of people using Corby’s railway station, new figures indicate.
But fewer passengers are using both Kettering and Wellingborough stations, according to the Office of Rail Regulation.
Almost 256,000 people used Corby station in 2013-14, a rise of about 23,000, or 10 per cent, since the previous year.
Kettering and Wellingborough both continue to have significantly more users but both fell slightly, to about one million and 922,000 respectively.
David Fursdon, from Railfuture East Midlands, said: “I visit Corby station on a daily basis and I see the increase in passengers all the time. Our service to London St Pancras is generally good but connections at Kettering to travel northbound are disappointing and the top complaint I hear.
“The recent increase in passenger numbers at Corby is proof a better service is deserving – and take into account Corby is the fastest-growing town in the UK.”
Christopher Groome, from the Kettering Rail Users group, said Corby was continuing to expand as there were still people who might previously have used Kettering or Peterborough stations who had now switched to the town.
He also blamed the Kettering and Wellingborough decreases on a shortage of northbound services along the Midland main line.
He added: “I am still campaigning hard to get that second train north, because it’s really affected people who work in places like Nottingham, Derby and Leicester.
“People from Desborough go to Market Harborough station rather than Kettering. But Kettering is potentially a bigger rail centre because of the A14. It’s quite wrong Kettering doesn’t have as good a service as Market Harborough.
“People in Sheffield, Leicester, Nottingham or Derby also want their trains to get to London as quickly as possible, so there’s a conflict with the interests of people like us. It’s a case of getting a better balance.”
Kettering’s MP Philip Hollobone last week raised the issue of reinstating a half-hourly service northbound with transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
Kettering railway station passengers in 2013-14: 1,004,406 (down 14,462 or 1.4 per cent since 2012-13)
Wellingborough: 922,196 (down 6,370 or 0.7 per cent)
Corby: 255,834 (up 23,040 or 9.9 per cent)
Northampton: 2,783,020 (up 3,060 or 0.1 per cent)
Market Harborough: 797,890 (up 33,192 or 4.3 per cent)