Thursday, 25 November 2010

More Trains to Tackle Overcrowding

By Sunil Patel

The government has announced plans to invest up to £8 billion into Britain’s railways to tackle overcrowding and speed up journeys.

Around 2000 new carriages will be added to the rail network over a nine-year period.

The first 650 trains will be delivered to franchised train operators over the next four years.

Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond also confirmed today that the Thameslink scheme will be given the go ahead.

The £6 billion project will increase current capacity by 1200 carriages on the north-south Thames link once the scheme it is completed.

In addition, there will be a £900 million electrification programme between London and Didcot, Newbury and Oxford as well as between Liverpool, Manchester, Preston and Blackpool.

The secretary of state addressed a question about how the government latest proposals will tackle chronic commuter overcrowding during busy periods in an interview on BBC breakfast news.

He said, “Some of the new carriages will be deployed to the North West, some in the London commuter areas and some on the routes from the North East up to Scotland.”   

Passengers face price hikes in rail fares of up to seven percent in New Year to help pay for the new investment.  

Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus chief executive, said: “Passengers using crowded trains today – and soon paying more for the privilege – will want to understand what this means for their train service.”  

Reacting to the government’s announcement, Chris Branscombe, who spent £70 travelling on the train from South London to Leicester said, “I don’t believe this is going to happen, they are all liars. The train companies make enough money why don’t they pay for this.

Chris added, “It’s ridiculous I’ve come here for a one-hour meeting and they won’t even let me leave on an earlier so I have to wait until 7 pm. 

Soham Tanna, Leicester, travelling back from Birmingham Airport, said, “I think it is good news if it means I will have somewhere, to put my luggage.

“The more trains on the network the better as it will help with the overcrowding problem that faces commuters on a daily basis.”

Soham does not think a rise in rail fares is a bad idea, “The money has to come from somewhere.

“It’s better than the government just printing more money,” he added.

Photograph from

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