Fears UK’s rail network is too overcrowded grow after it’s revealed Britons took a record 1.76billion train trips last year
- Train trips made in the last 12 months was up 51 million on the previous year
- Record 1.76billion train trips last year, amid regular overcrowding and delays
- Services had become more packed and many commuters were forced to stand
Britain’s weary travellers took a record 1.76billion trips by train last year, amid widespread overcrowding and rampant delays.
Despite commuters enduring the least punctual service in 13 years, statistics published yesterday by the Office of Rail and Road show the number of trips made in the 12 months to March was up 51 million – 3 per cent – on the previous year.
The rail industry said the increase was fuelled by thousands of extra services being laid on, but the figures have fuelled concerns about overcrowding.
Figures published last year showed services had become more packed, with commuters – many of whom pay thousands of pounds for a season ticket – forced to stand during the morning and evening peaks.
Passenger trains operated by Southern at Selhurst train depots. Travellers took a record 1.76billion trips by train last year
In the worst cases, trains had two and a half times more passengers than they are meant to carry – with more customers standing up than sitting down.
Darren Shirley, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: ‘The record-breaking number of people using the railways means many peak-time services are very busy. This is the price we pay for a railway which isn’t designed around its users.’
Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the rail industry, said: ‘Rail companies are changing and improving today, running thousands of extra services every week so that more people can benefit from taking the train and our communities are better connected.’
Southeastern passengers will be able to claim compensation for shorter delays under new measures to be rolled out in the autumn.
Passengers delayed by 15 minutes or more will receive money back for their journey. The train operator currently compensates those who have been delayed for 30 minutes or longer.