November 9 2010: The news that the Government is set to miss all of its targets to tackle overcrowding by a wide margin will further enrage put-upon commuters.
Hot on the heels of the announcement that fares are to skyrocket over the next five years, a damning report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee catalogues Government and industry’s failure to provide rail users with relief from the overcrowding crisis.
It’s outrageous that attempts to tackle overcrowding are failing so dramatically. With rail fares set to increase by 31% over the next five years, and the Government unable to meet its own targets to relieve overcrowding, passengers will rightly wonder why they should have to pay more for a worse service.
We know that the prospect of being forced to stand in overcrowded sardine carriages – where commuters are allocated less space than is required for cattle under European law – puts people off taking the train, and understandably so. This was a favourite criticism of the previous government’s rail policy made by our new Ministers when they were in opposition. Will they rectify the situation now that they’re in power?
Let’s hope that the Secretary of State’s upcoming announcement about new rolling stock brings some good news for long-suffering train users.