Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Transport User Voice – January 2020 – Case study

20 December 2019

Crowding causes early exit 

Mrs H bought a return ticket with reserved seating from Banbury to Southampton Central. On the return leg, she found it so crowded that she couldn’t get to her seat.

Mrs H told us it was so bad she had to get off at Reading and, since she had an advance ticket, she had to buy another one to continue her journey home. Mrs H felt that this was a health and safety issue as the carriages were so overcrowded which exacerbated her claustrophobia.  Mrs H contacted CrossCountry to request a refund of her tickets, including proof of purchase, and was told she would be contacted.

After receiving no response, Mrs H contacted Transport Focus. We contacted CrossCountry seeking a refund of the additional ticket Mrs H had had to buy because of the overcrowding causing her to feel unwell. CrossCountry agreed that Mrs H should have been issued a refund and upon investigation it was discovered that her case was not reopened, after she contacted them again, when it should have been. Arrangements were then made for the £35.40 refund to be issued to Mrs H’s method of choice.

The issue of overcrowding is something that extends beyond any one operator or route. Transport Focus believes that addressing overcrowding is one of the key challenges facing the rail industry in the coming years. Unless there is a concerted effort to address the issue it is clear it will increasingly constrain the ability of the network to deliver a service that meets the needs of passengers.

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