Railways need to be run as a "public service", the RMT rail union leader said today after new figures revealed more than 100,000 London-bound rail commuters had to stand during morning rush hour.
Bob Crow said:
While passengers are forced to pay through the nose to stand, crammed in on sweltering, over-crowded trains, the private companies running these services are making huge profits in the safe knowledge that the whole racket of rail privatisation is a one-way ticket to the bank.
Until our railways are run as a public service, under public ownership and control, this scandal of the British paying the highest fares in Europe to travel on some of the worst services will continue unchecked.
Passengers on some morning and evening peak services are travelling on London-bound trains which are 60% over capacity on certain routes, new figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) showed today.
On a typical weekday in autumn 2012:
A total of 535,000 passengers arrived in central London by rail during the morning peak (7am to 9.59am).
977,000 rail passengers arrived across the whole day.
The worst service for overcrowding in autumn 2012 was the 8.27am Heathrow Express service from Heathrow to Paddington station - 65% over the capacity figure of 476.
The 10 worst-crowded services in autumn 2010 travelled between 49% and 65% over capacity.
Travelling on a very crowded train is an "unpleasant experience", Transport Minister Norman Baker said today, after new figures revealed more than 100,000 London-bound rail commuters have to stand during morning rush hour. Mr Baker said:
Climbing on to a very crowded train is an unpleasant experience and I sympathise with passengers using these services.
I urge train operators to do what they can on these particular trains. The Department is working closely with the industry to ensure this issue is tackled.