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Six of top 10 most overcrowded peak train services reach busiest point in London

Overcrowded trains is one of the common passenger gripes. Credit: PA

More than a third of rail passengers have to stand on trains arriving in parts of London in morning peak time, official figures from the Department of Transport reveal.

Six of the top 10 most overcrowded services in England and Wales were busiest going in or out of London, last year.

The 06:57 from Brighton to Bedford, operated by Govia Thameslink, was the most crowded service, last autumn.

08:20am
at London Blackfriars was the busiest point on the service.

The service operated as an eight-car train during 2015. In 2016, the train will contain 50% more coaches and run as a 12-car train, the Dft said.

Blackfriars struggles with overcrowding during the morning rush hour. Credit: PA

In 2015, London Blackfriars (via Elephant and Castle) had the highest crowding level of all major London stations, at 14.7%.

35%
of commuters on services into Blackfriars stand

The top 10 most overcrowded services and busiest points: Autumn 2015

  • 06:57 Brighton to Bedford, (London Blackfriars)
  • 04:22 Glasgow Central to Manchester Airport(Manchester Oxford Road)
  • 16:00 Manchester Airport to Edinburgh Waverley(Manchester Oxford Road)
  • 18:00 Manchester Airport to Edinburgh Waverley(Manchester Oxford Road)
  • 08:02 Beckenham Junction to Bedford (London Elephant & Castle)
  • 17:46 London Euston to Crewe(London Euston)
  • 07:32 Woking to London Waterloo (London Waterloo)
  • 16:26 Bedford to Brighton (London Blackfriars)
  • 06:51 Southampton Airport P’way to London Waterloo (London Waterloo)
  • 06:15 Edinburgh Waverley to Manchester Airport (Manchester Oxford Road)

London has most overcrowded trains during the morning peak

London came top of cities with the most overcrowding during the morning peak - between 07:00 and 09:59 - on a "typical weekday" with 5.8%

It was followed by Manchester with 3.7% and Birmingham at 2.4%.

The cities with the most overcrowding during peak times in the morning. Credit: Department for Transport

Rail Minister Paul Maynard said the statistics reveal "the unprecedented scale of passenger demand, with journeys doubling in the past 20 years".

"We are investing a record £40 billion into the network to address this, delivering 3,700 extra carriages by 2019 and providing a huge boost to capacity through programmes like HS2, Crossrail, and the £6.5 billion Thameslink programme"

"The end result will be new trains, better stations, and robust infrastructure to increase capacity, reduce crowding and provide better journeys for all, " he added.

Many travellers are paying to stand on their regular train journeys due to overcrowding. Credit: PA

Mick Whelan, general secretary of the train drivers' union Aslef, said privatisation has failed to deliver for rail passengers in Britain.

We're disappointed - but not surprised - by these figures. Disappointed for those passengers - especially those who are pregnant, or disabled - who have to suffer like this, and for those tourists who come to this country expecting a first class public transport system in a first-world economy.

If you're standing on your train today, then you'll be standing on your train in 10 years' time. Because the government doesn't care enough to do anything about it and the companies only care about making money, not delivering a service.

– Mick Whelan from Aslef