Great British Bake Off star Ian Cumming aims to change fortunes of Shippea Hill rail station

Shippea Hill station in Cambridgeshire is the quietest in the country. Picture Google Maps

Shippea Hill station in Cambridgeshire is the quietest in the country. Picture Google Maps - Credit: Google Maps

A contestant from the Great British Bake Off has hatched a plan to increase the passenger numbers at Britain's quietest railway station with a Christmas Eve visit.

https://twitter.com/iancpix/status/811467374813741056

Shippea Hill station in Cambridgeshire had only 12 entries and exits during 2015/16, according to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), the lowest number in the country.

Only one train - towards Norwich - serves the station on weekdays, but there is no return service. On Saturdays it is possible to take a day trip to Cambridge from Shippea Hill, leaving at 7.25am and returning just over 12 hours later. There are no trains on Sundays.

But Ian Cumming, who starred in the 2015 series of the hit TV show alongside Nadiya Hussain, wants to change this statistic.

He is encouraging people to join him on a Christmas Eve trip to the station which will be his first ever visit to Shippea Hill.

Ian Cumming starred in The Great British Bake Off in 2015. Picture Ian Cumming

Ian Cumming starred in The Great British Bake Off in 2015. Picture Ian Cumming - Credit: Ian Cumming


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'I have never been there before but I have looked it up on Google Street View and that is the closest I have got,' he said. 'I like the idea of instead of being stuck in the car in Cambridge on Christmas Eve why don't I get stuck in the middle of the Fens, it just appealed to my sense of humour.'

The photographer, from Great Wilbraham, will be catching the 7am train from Cambridge on Saturday morning, which stops in Ely, before arriving in Shippea Hill at 7.25am. The return train isn't until 7.27pm and a return ticket costs £8.90.

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But Mr Cumming isn't planning on staying all day. He will be dropping some bicycles off at Shippea Hill tomorrow and will then cycle from the station back to Ely.

In hope of attracting more people to the event Mr Cumming is making some homemade mince pies to hand out but he said he has no idea how many to cater for.

'I have no idea how many people will come, I have had quite a lot of interest in it but that doesn't mean people will make the effort,' he said.

'So far I have had one person confirm and the rest will depend on my family who have all come down with laryngitis.

'So I don't know whether to make one mince pie or 100.'

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