One of the most frustrating things for a London commuter is when you are packed into a Tube train that hasn't left the platform, and you hear the driver scolding passengers over the speaker system for blocking the doors.
But while it may only add a few minutes to your journey at a time, new figures show that delays on the London Underground due to overcrowding have reached a five-year high – most of them on the city centre's key Central, Victoria, Northern and Jubilee lines.
The figures showed there were 237 delays in 2014/15 because of overcrowding, compared with 153 in 2010, and politicians have labelled the revelation as "very worrying".
Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson on the London Assembly, said: "The Mayor and Transport for London are constantly boasting about the record performance of the London Underground. However, there is an increasing problem of serious overcrowding for passengers on much of the Tube, and this is only going to get worse.
"These figures were dragged out of the Mayor and reveal that we cannot afford a day of complacency in tackling Tube delays and ensuring the Tube upgrades are funded.
"Improvements to the Tube are barely keeping up with the rising demand for travel created by London's booming population and record numbers of tourists."
But Tube operators are keen to reassure customers that delays in general are becoming fewer and everything is under control.
Steve Griffiths, London Underground chief operating officer, said: "Occurrences such as these are a relatively small factor when you look at the overall reliability of the network and account for about 1% of total delays, which have in fact been cut by 40% in recent years.
Commenting on plans to revamp the Tube system, he continued: "You would also expect that incidents caused by crowding to be increasing because of the huge demand and record ridership we're seeing on our services. This is precisely why we are working so hard to upgrade the Underground by putting in modern signalling and introducing new, higher capacity trains.
"It also demonstrates quite clearly the case for further investment into London's transport network and for major improvement projects such as Crossrail 2."
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