Overcrowding on trains remains a persistent challenge

24 July 2018

Commenting on the Department for Transport’s ‘Top 10’ overcrowded train services, Guy Dangerfield, head of strategy for Transport Focus, said today:

“Despite more capacity in some areas there is clearly more to do in order to relieve overcrowding.

“Our research shows the ability to sit down can transform an alright journey into a good one. Continuing to invest in new trains, better frequency, track capacity and improved signalling are the only way to give passengers a better chance of getting a seat – something passengers rightly expect in return for continuing fare rises.

“Improvements to make fares more flexible to suit changing patterns of demand, and to modernise ticketing systems also cannot come too soon. In the meantime, we will continue to focus on routine punctuality and performance, since overcrowding is frequently associated with late, cancelled or short formed trains.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) analyses passenger count data collected by train operators to monitor train crowding levels. All franchises let by DfT require the train operator to address crowding. Operators must plan their timetables to ensure, as far as possible, that crowding is not unduly concentrated on any particular route or service.

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