Railways: Overcrowding

Department for Transport written question – answered on 12th December 2017.

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Photo of Sharon Hodgson Sharon Hodgson Shadow Minister (Public Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of applying a maximum occupancy limits to trains.

Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

One of the most popular features of the UK railways is that it’s a walk-on, or turn up and go service. This flexibility is much prized by passengers. The Department believes that setting occupancy limits would substantially disadvantage passengers as such a system would need to either restrict travel to those with prior reservations, or to refuse to allow passengers with valid tickets to travel on a service when its occupancy limit had been reached.

However, the Department for Transport does require train operators to carry out passenger counts as part of their franchise contracts to demonstrate that adequate capacity is being provided.

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