28% of London-bound rail commuters forced to stand in morning rush hour


More than a quarter of commuters on London-bound morning rush hour trains have to stand due to packed carriages, new figures show.

The figure of 28% is the highest for any city and up 6% on 2011, the statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT) reveal.

Overall peak crowding was higher in London than in other cities, with 4.1% of passengers in excess of capacity (PiXC), compared to 1.4% across the other 10 cities.

The city with the most crowding outside the capital was Manchester, with PiCX of 3.3%.

The figures for a typical autumn weekday in 2014 showed that 139,000 passengers were standing at trains' busiest points on arrival into London in the morning peak - 22% of all passengers.

Some 26% of morning peak trains were over capacity and in total had 59% of passengers standing.

During the peak 563,000 passengers arrived by rail into central London, up 3% on the year before, with more than one million passengers arriving over the whole day.

The city outside London with the highest number of passengers was Birmingham, with 39,000 passengers on board trains arriving into the city centre in the morning peak. This was compared to 31,000 in Manchester and 26,000 in Leeds.

The 11 cities looked at were London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

The DfT said that the overall level of crowding across the 11 cities has increased, with it being clear that much of the growth has taken place on routes that are already very busy.

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: "We have seen record-breaking numbers use the railways in the past year, with 1.7 billion journeys completed in 2014, more than double the number recorded a decade ago.

"To meet this unprecedented demand we are investing £38 billion in the railways for the five years until 2019, underpinned by flagship schemes like the Intercity Express and Thameslink programmes to provide more space and more seats on trains.

"I know how frustrated customers are with overcrowding, and I expect the rail industry, including operators, to continue to develop innovative proposals to meet the capacity challenge head on."

Rail Fares Set to Rise by 1%: Passengers 'Priced Off Trains'