Railways: Overcrowding

Department for Transport written question – answered on 10th January 2019.

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Photo of Jo Stevens Jo Stevens Labour, Cardiff Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of trends in the number and proportion of trains running over capacity in the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Capacity provided by franchised rail operators is monitored by the DfT through a regular series of passenger counts at a number of major city centre stations. The results enable the DfT to liaise with operators where capacity problems are identified, and to ensure that potential solutions are investigated.

It is for the rail industry to plan to fully deploy available rolling stock to best meet passenger demand, and take all reasonable steps to minimise any crowding.

Rail crowding statistics published by the Department for Transport provides information on passenger crowding into major city centres, based on a typical autumn weekday. The table below presents the percentage of standard class passengers in excess of the capacity (PiXC) on their train service across the morning peak (07:00 to 09:59) and evening peak (16:00 to 18:59) into major city centres.

Passengers in excess of capacity (PiXC) on a typical autumn weekday across fourteen major cities in England and Wales






Total for all major cities






Further information is provided in the following online table:


This table is part of an annual statistics publication on passenger numbers and crowding in major city centres in England and Wales, which can be found here:


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