Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's Official Conditions on Our Cattle -Truck Trains Worsening; 19,000 Travel in Carriages Already Full

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's Official Conditions on Our Cattle -Truck Trains Worsening; 19,000 Travel in Carriages Already Full

Article excerpt

Byline: OLIVER FINEGOLD

COMMUTERS are being forced to endure worsening "cattle-truck" conditions on London's mainline rush-hour trains.

Figures out today show that 19,270 of the 471,829 people crammed into carriages during the average weekday morning peak period are on trains already officially classed as full.

And 5,758 of the 389,079 people travelling during the evening rush hour suffer the same inconvenience.

This means they are 4.3 per cent over capacity in the mornings and 1.5 per cent over capacity in the evenings.

The Department for Transport figures, obtained by the Liberal Democrats, reveal that even on improving lines there is still an appalling daily crush, with many commuters forced to stand for the length of their journey.

They come days after Mayor Ken Livingstone called for longer platforms at dozens of stations and longer trains to beat passenger congestion.

Lib-Dem transport spokesman Tom Brake said: "The Government cannot expect people to get off the roads and on to public transport if it is not safe and comfortable.

"Rail companies should be given longer franchises so they can develop their rolling stock but they also have to be imaginative when it comes to fares - offering people incentives for travelling earlier or later in the day."

One of the worst-hit lines is the Brighton-Victoria route operated by Southern.

In 2004 it carried more than 133,000 commuters each day but more than 6,800 of them were "excess" passengers.

South West Trains, which operates routes into Waterloo, carried almost 145,000 travellers, 6,300 of whom were excess.

The capacity of modern trains for standing passengers is 35 per cent of the number of seats meaning that the average carriage is overcrowded and carrying excess passengers once 65 have taken their seats and 23 more are standing. …

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