Overcrowding on rush-hour trains in London and south east England is getting worse, official figures showed today.

Normal passenger capacity on peak-time trains to and from London was exceeded by 3.2% in 2011, compared with 3.0% in 2010, the Department for Transport statistics showed.

The 2011 figure for the weekday London-arriving morning peak (7am to 10am) commuter services was 4% in excess of capacity last year - the same as in 2010.

But excess capacity for the London-departing evening peak (4pm to 7pm) rose from 1.9% in 2010 to 2.3% last year - pushing the both-peak average up to 3.2%.

The figures were based on a typical autumn weekday in 2011 on London and south east England train operators' services.

On this basis, the statistics also showed:

  • 532,000 arrived into central London by rail during the morning peak and 443,000 left in the evening peak

  • Outside London, Birmingham had the highest number of passengers travelling during the peaks, with 36,000 morning arrivals and 40,000 evening departures

  • First Great Western had the highest level of passengers in excess of capacity of any London and south east operator with 10.5% across both peaks, although this was a fall from 16.6% in 2010

  • Birmingham had the highest crowding outside London in the morning peak in 2011, with 3.1% of passengers in excess of capacity

  • Manchester had the highest crowding in the evening peak with 2.5% of passengers in excess of capacity.

Meanwhile, figures today from Network Rail (NR) showed that, nationally, 92.9% of trains ran on time in the period from May 27 to June 23 this year.

This compared with a figure of 93% for the same period last year.

Only three companies - Virgin Trains, CrossCountry and First Capital Connect - failed to reach a punctuality figure of at least 90% last month.

NR said the 88.8% figure for Virgin, which operates the West Coast line, was affected by six days during which its trains-on-time figure fell below 80%.

Incidents on these days included flooding, a signal failure and overhead wire problems.

Best-performing company for the period May 27 to June 23 this year was Merseyrail which ran 98.3% of trains on time.