Cllr Blake responds to the latest report on rail passenger crowding in major cities

“The figures published by DfT today underline the significant capacity constraints that our railways are suffering from and the urgent need for investment"

Responding to the Department for Transport’s statistical report on ‘Rail passenger numbers and crowding on weekdays in major cities in England and Wales: 2018’, Cllr Judith Blake, who leads on transport for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and is Leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“The figures published by DfT today underline the significant capacity constraints that our railways are suffering from and the urgent need for investment. 

“One of the key promises in the franchise commitments was to reduce overcrowding at peak times and this simply is not happening, with around 50 passengers per working day left behind on our platforms (in May 2019) due to overcrowding in West Yorkshire.

“With the autumn peak approaching we urgently require operators to demonstrate they have sufficient rolling stock in place to ensure passengers are not left on platforms.

“The North will only have the modern reliable rail network it needs with investment in extra capacity. In the short and medium terms this means investment in more and longer trains and associated rail infrastructure improvements, and in the long term includes HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail with a line through Bradford City Centre.”

The report shows that the cities with the largest increase in passengers standing were Birmingham (up 3.9 percentage points), Leeds (up 3.3 percentage points) and Liverpool (up 2.6 percentage points).

Read the ‘Rail passenger numbers and crowding on weekdays in major cities in England and Wales: 2018’ report.