Tuesday 24 July 2018 / 12:08 PM Andy McDonald / Rail

Tory obsession with privatisation putting future of the railway at risk

Overcrowding on train services hits one of the worst ever levels and is set to get even worse in the years ahead.

 Labour is today releasing analysis of overcrowded rail services which reveals that:

  • Overcrowding on our railways is at one of the highest levels since records began
  • The top 10 most overcrowded peak train routes are on average 187 per cent in excess of capacity, an increase of more than 25 per cent since 2011.
  • The most overcrowded route in 2017 was the 07:16 Southern service from East Grinstead to London Bridge, by extra passenger capacity. The service had nearly twice (191per cent) the number of passengers on the train that the service is designed to be able to carry.
  • The top 10 most overcrowded peak train routes will be an average over 207 percent in excess of capacity by the end of the parliament.

Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, commenting on these figures, said:

“Under the Tories, rail fares have risen three times faster than average wages, and all the while severe disruptions have blighted the network with trains often delayed or cancelled. So it’s no surprise that passengers are sick of paying extortionate fares to endure overcrowded services, crammed into carriages that are well over capacity.

“With passengers being put off and priced out of the railway there is a serious threat to its sustainability. The Tory franchising model is based on ever-increasing passenger numbers, so today’s fall in growth will hit train company revenues and will lead to further taxpayer bailouts of the private sector.

“The government’s blind obsession with privatisation is putting the future of the railway at risk. The next Labour government will do what’s best for passengers and taxpayers by taking the railway back into public ownership in order to improve services and cap fares.”