Three of the five most overcrowded and uncomfortable rail services in the country operate out of East Croydon, it has been reported today. The news is further evidence – not that any is needed – for those commuters who endure train services into London that DafT, the Department for Transport under Chris Grayling, and Southern cannot run a railway.
The Tory Government and DafT have spent the past couple of years trying to blame trades unions for their own systemic management failures, while they continue to under-staff their rail service and deliver wretchedly poor value for rail users. An annual season ticket from East Croydon to London Bridge costs £1,704 (an annual into Victoria costs almost £200 less).
And all the time that regular rail users have to endure cattle truck conditions to travel to and from work, DafT continue to use up precious track capacity by running an under-used Gatwick Express service into Victoria, which whizzes past passengers waiting on platforms at East Croydon four times an hour.
Broadcaster and Independent travel editor Simon Calder has worked out the five most overcrowded rail services, based on DafT’s own data for Autumn 2016.
Calder does have a slightly boffin-esque manner about him… He writes: “By multiplying the journey time in minutes by the factor by which the train is overcrowded (1 signifies there are as many standing passengers as seats), The Independent has been able to specify the train on which conditions are most inhuman.” Still with us?
And those overcrowded trains to be avoided are:
1. 8.35am, Hitchin to King’s Cross: 28 minutes, crowd factor 1.11, score 31.08
2. 7.59am, East Croydon to London Bridge: 21 minutes, crowd factor 1.13, score 23.73
3. 4.19pm Manchester Oxford Road to Wigan North Western: 24 minutes, crowd factor .87, score 20.88
4. 7.54am East Croydon to London Blackfriars: 21 minutes, crowd factor .93, score 19.53
5. 8.02am, East Croydon to London Bridge: 22 minutes, crowd factor .84, score 18.48
Calder writes: “The journeys from East Croydon to London Bridge appear in second and fifth place; the 7.59am departure has 113 per cent more standing passengers than seats, while someone waiting three extra minutes would find slightly more breathing space aboard the 8.02am — which has only 84 per cent more passengers than seats…
“East Croydon, the main intermediate station on the London-Gatwick-Brighton line, makes yet another appearance at fourth, with the 7.54am to London Blackfriars overloaded by 93 per cent.”
Calder quotes DafT as saying: “This service operates as a 12-car train and cannot be lengthened further.”
- The Association of British Commuters have been fighting for improved rail services, and have a legal fighting fund. To find out more, click here
- Southern Fail: The train driver’s story
- Southern Fail: The Tories’ role in Croydon’s commuter chaos
- Southern Fail: Civil servant wants ‘to break’ rail unions
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