Great British Bake Off’s Ian Cumming helps Shippea Hill lose its Great British Lack of Custom award

PUBLISHED: 14:20 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:20 01 December 2017

Great British Bake Off contestant Ian Cumming’s plan to throw the passenger statistics at the UK’s quietest railway station worked as more people used the station on Christmas Eve than the whole of last year. (PHOTO: Mike Rouse)

Great British Bake Off contestant Ian Cumming’s plan to throw the passenger statistics at the UK’s quietest railway station worked as more people used the station on Christmas Eve than the whole of last year. (PHOTO: Mike Rouse)

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Great British Bake Off contestant Ian Cumming has helped a tiny rail station in the Fens to lose its Great British Lack of Custom award.

Getting busier:  Shippea Hill Getting busier: Shippea Hill

Ian Cumming, who starred in the 2015 series of the hit TV show, encouraged people to come with him to Shippea Hill train station between Ely and Mildenhall by baking mince pies - and it worked.

The 16 people who boarded the 7am from Cambridge to Norwich last December – only to be dropped off at Shippea Hill – helped to ensure it lost its title of least used UK rail station.

This year’s final tally of passengers using a rail station doesn’t even put Shippea Hill in the top 10.

Mr Cumming’s campaign clearly encouraged more visitors and from annual usage of 12 in 2015/16 the latest figures show 156 passengers have passed through this year.

In fact Shippea Hill was today revelling in its new title of Britain’s fastest growing rail station as statisticians realised it had seen a percentage growth of 1,200 per cent.

The figures have been compiled by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) where officials politely point out that an extra 20 people who visited in June as part of a country wide challenge did not count. The latest figures only take account of visitor number to the year ending March 31, 2017.

Title of the least used rail station passes to Angus, Scotland, that attracted just 24 passengers travelled to or from Barry Links station in 2016/17.

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