Train Too Crowded?

London Assembly wants to help you find a seat

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The London Assembly is trying to find a solution to overcrowding on the capital's overground trains, particularly during the morning and evening commuter rush.

The Assembly's Transport Committee wants to map an accurate picture of the ‘pinch points’ on commuter routes into London, for example the stations where people have to wait for several full trains to go by before they can board.

It says it then wants to use this information to find "targeted solutions".

The Committee says it particulary wants to focus on passengers' experiences and aims to talk to commuters

about how overcrowding affects their journey.

Almost 700,000 people commute to work or home via one of the 50 or so overground rail routes into London, which accounts for 17 per cent of all commuting in the capital. Almost half a million of the overground rail commuters travel into central London from outside central London.

A recent Passenger Focus survey showed that passenger satisfaction on whether there was sufficient room on trains for all passengers almost halved during peak times – falling from 60 per cent to 33 per cent. 

Transport for London also found that businesses rated crowding on the transport network as their biggest concern as it has an impact on the capital’s attractiveness as a place to invest.

Val Shawcross AM, Chair of the Transport Committee, said: “Many people who commute into and around London know only too well that overcrowding causes daily misery on many routes.  It’s time to look for real solutions, and to do that, we need to know exactly where problems peak – not just which route, but which station.

“This investigation will build an accurate picture of London’s commuter experience and try to find ways to make their daily journey into and out of the capital a lot more bearable.”

The investigation will include a public hearing with passenger groups before a hearing with rail operators. 

It is hoped the Committee’s findings will feed into the development of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and a report will be published early next year. 

16 September 2008