Sussex rail service tops nationwide overcrowding list

A Sussex rail service has topped a nationwide list of the most overcrowded trains '“ running more than 200 per cent over capacity '“ Government figures have revealed.

Friday, 29th July 2016, 3:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 1:49 am
A commuter took this picture of a cramped train

The 7am Brighton to Bedford train, run by Govia Thameslink Railway, topped the Department for Transport’s top-10 list of autumn rail services.

The ‘typical’ weekday snapshot figure showed 960 passengers crammed into carriages at the highest peak at London Blackfriars.

The standard class carriages seated just 420 – 229 per cent less than the number of passengers.

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.”

GTR services featured three times in the top-10 list.

Blackfriars – the point where the most overcrowded train was recorded – was judged as having the largest percentage of crowding of all the major London stations.

Guidance notes released alongside the DfT’s figures noted the snapshot data should be ‘treated with caution’.

It said: “The overcrowding figures for the ‘top 10’ services are often derived from one-off measurements of the passengers on each train on a particular weekday.

“They may not be an average representation of overcrowding on the service over a period of time. Furthermore, some of the passenger load numbers are

obtained by manual counting and so there is a significant risk of human error.”