Thousands of passengers ‘having to stand on overcrowded trains into Leeds’

new figures show thousands of passengers are having to stand on services arriving in Leeds in the morning rush hour.

Wednesday, 9th September 2015, 12:25 pm
Both TransPennine Express and Northern Rail had 13 per cent of passengers standing on services arriving into Leeds in the morning rushhour.

Thirteen per cent of commuters were standing on TransPennine Express and Northern Rail services, figures out today from the Rail Executive show.

In the afternoon standing on TransPennine was 11 per cent and on Northern 12 per cent, according to the figures for 2014.

It comes as the number of passengers travelling into Leeds by train continues to rise.

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There were 71,000 passengers arriving on an average weekday, up 4,000, or five per cent on the previous year.

The most crowded train service in the country was the 04.22 from Glasgow Central to Manchester Airport, which carried 164 extra passengers - 86 per cent over its capacity of 191.

Earlier this year Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin’s decision to halt the planned electrification of the TransPennine route and the Midland mainline connecting London to Sheffield triggered a wave of criticism from across the region.

The announcement came just weeks after an election campaign during which the Conservatives repeatedly trumpeted their promises to invest in the region’s railways as part of their ‘northern powerhouse’ economic plan.

In response to today’s figures the Government said they were removing “outdated and unpopular” Pacers by 2019 and would be bringing in “at least” 120 brand-new carriages. They also said by 2030 the new Northern and TransPennine Express franchises would deliver an increase in peak capacity of more than a third.

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 5 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.”