Not a single passenger boarded or left a train at one Powys railway station during a pandemic-hit year for travel, new figures reveal.

Sugar Loaf – which regularly appears on the list of the country's least-used stations – received 156 visitors in total in 2019-20.

But as the pandemic hit rail passenger user numbers and services were cancelled, the already-limited footfall dried up completely, with zero passengers using the station, according to figures from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

It was actually one of six stations around the UK which didn't see a passenger last year, along with Abererch and Llanbedr, both in Gwynedd, Beasdale in the Highlands, Sampford Courtenay in Devon, and Stanlow and Thornton in Cheshire.

Stratford overtook Waterloo to become the country's busiest station.

ORR director of planning and performance Feras Alshaker said: “This year we have seen many railway stations with very few passenger entries and exits. However, we know that recent figures show leisure journeys are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, while there has been a slower increase in commuter journeys.”

Stations across Powys showed a dramatic decline in user numbers because of the pandemic.

Welshpool saw an 80 per cent decline in passengers to 33,782, Newtown saw an 85 per cent drop to 22,420, and Llandrindod Wells' passenger numbers slumped by 93 per cent to 2,440.

The figures were reflected across the Wales and Borders network – in Cardiff, 84 per cent fewer passengers boarded or disembarked at Cardiff Central, with 1.97 million users counted, and Shrewsbury saw a 75 per cent drop to 549,692.

Rail bosses say they are now seeing passenger numbers beginning to recover to pre-pandemic levels, meaning the figures for 2021-22 are likely to be more comparable to a usual year.

Andy Bagnall, director-general at industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said: “The station usage figures show how the rail industry kept people moving for the first year of the pandemic.

“Some of the entries on the list reflect where people like key workers were travelling from and also the acceleration of changes to how people are travelling after the pandemic.

“Rail companies are working together to welcome people back and the recent increase in passengers continues to both reflect and support the nation’s recovery.”