Text Size

Current Size: 100%

Campaigners respond to Government figures on rail overcrowding

10 September 2014
Campaign for Better Transport has responded to the publication of figures on rail overcrowding by the Department for Transport.

James MacColl, Head of Campaigns, Campaign for Better Transport said

"These figures show overcrowding is getting worse at the country's main stations. With up to one in five passengers having to stand and ticket prices increasing much faster than wages, rail commuters will be questioning the value for money they get. Government needs to continue investing in the railways with a long-term strategy to cope with demand and keep fares affordable."

The Department for Transport's statistics show 1.6bn annual rail passengers - a number that has more than doubled in the last 10 years. Many of the country's main stations are struggling to keep pace with growing demand for rail travel at peak times.

In London:

  • 545,000 passengers arriving into London at the morning peak, and just over 1m arriving during the course of the average day
  • 20 per cent of passengers having to stand at peak times
  • An average of 4 per cent of peak time trains were deemed 'over-capacity' (passengers having to stand for more than 20 minutes)
  • Paddington was the worst affected, with trains 9.2 per cent over-capacity at peak times

Across the country:

  • Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool all reported services with passengers in excess of capacity at peak times
  • Sheffield was the worst offender with 4 per cent of passengers having to stand for more than 20 minutes during the morning peak.
  • Department for Transport figures also reveal that Sheffield has also seem a large increase in passenger numbers, with 5.1 per cent more people travelling into Sheffield at peak times over the the last 12 months
  • Manchester reported over 30,000 passengers arriving in the morning peak, with 15.9 per cent standing. Trans Pennine Express was the most overcrowded operator with 31.7 per cent of passengers standing at the peak morning period

James MacColl said

"Cities like Sheffield and Manchester are seeing increasing numbers of passengers having to stand - often on outdated and uncomfortable trains. Rather than ramping up fares, we need to invest in new trains, improved stations and better services to meet demand. Government must devolve more control to city-regions who understand best where investment needs to be targeted."



On 10 September, Department for Transport published new figures showing overcrowding on train services in England and Wales


Sign up!

Sign up!

Join the thousands of people who have signed up to receive our e-newsletter



Follow us on Twitter!

Follow us on Twitter for up to the minute campaign updates!