Railways: Overcrowding

Department for Transport written question – answered on 11th January 2019.

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Photo of Jo Stevens Jo Stevens Labour, Cardiff Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of (a) the number of trains that will run overcapacity and (b) the amount by which they will exceed their capacity on average by 2025 on currents trends in funding and passenger growth.

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

Estimates for the number of overcrowded trains and their levels of overcrowding in 2025 are not available.

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. Along with other data sources, these feed into a model that allows the DfT to forecast passenger demand. Latest published forecasts for passenger demand are available here:


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, as set out in the Train Plan within the Franchise Agreements for DfT’s franchised train operators.

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