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Increase in overcrowding ‘not acceptable’ – CBT

Train services are becoming increasingly overcrowded, new figures from the Department for Transport show.

The figures show that the overall number of passengers in excess of capacity (PiXC) on trains at peak times in 2015 was at 3.8%, a 0.3% increase from 2014.

London had the greatest overcrowding, with PiXC reaching 5.8% on morning services and 2.8% on evening services.

Lianna Etkind, public transport campaigner at the Campaign for Better Transport, said:  "Rail passengers are paying record amounts for their tickets and it's not acceptable that so many regularly have to stand. They have every right to be outraged at the levels of overcrowding - levels which have persisted on some routes for many years.

“In the next few years, revenue from tickets will exceed the cost of running the railways. The millions who rely on the trains want a commitment from the government that there will be long-term investment in rail capacity. This mustn’t just mean big ticket projects like HS2 and Crossrail 2, but better services right across the country.”

She said this should include the introduction of longer trains and platforms, and season ticket discounts for part-time workers in order to reduce overcrowding at peak times.

The increase in overcrowding reflects the number of passenger journeys, which is at a record high.

The figures show that PiXC at Blackfriars station has reached 11.2%. The next London stations with the greatest levels of overcrowding were Moorgate (8.9%) and St Pancras (6.9%.)

After London, the city with the greatest level of overcrowding was Manchester, with 3.7% PiXC in the mornings and 2.1% in the evenings, although both these figures had decreased from 2014.

Birmingham had the biggest increase in overcrowding. Its PiXC had increased by 1.2% to 2.1% in the mornings and 1.4% in the evenings.

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, representing train operators and Network Rail, said: “We understand passengers’ frustration when they can’t get a seat and we as an industry are working hard together to tackle overcrowding. 

“Over the past 20 years, record numbers of passengers have been attracted to the railway which is why we are introducing thousands of new and modern carriages.”

(Image c. Gareth Fuller from PA Wire)

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