COMMUTERS in Preston are having to endure the country’s most overcrowded train journeys, according to a list published of the top 10 busiest rail routes in England and Wales.
The top two on the list, published by the Department for Transport, are the 04.22 from Glasgow Central to Manchester Airport and the 16:00 from Manchester Airport to Edinburgh, which both call at Preston and Lancaster.
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 onClaire Perry, Rail Minister
Aidan Turner-Bishop of Campaign for Better Transport Lancashire believes that the rail users of Preston are “suffering” due to commuters in Greater Manchester, explaining: “The Manchester Airport regional trains are used heavily by commuters in the Bolton area and that’s partly because there’s no Metrolink tram in Bolton. Another reason for overcrowding is that the Department for Transport won’t let First TransPennine have longer trains on that line.
“Railway politics, poor planning and a lack of decent commuter transport from Bolton and Horwich into Manchester – that’s why it gets crowded.”
Despite being a regularly overpopulated journey, bursting with over 160 passengers over regular capacity, the most popular routes run on just four carriages.
Claire Perry, Rail Minister, 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 a decade ago. 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.”