Commuters blast 'ridiculous' overcrowding on London trains

Commuters blast 'ridiculous' overcrowding on London trains

James Preston

Commuters have said overcrowding is still a major issue on trains to and from London as Maidenhead services again appeared on a list of the busiest in England and Wales.

Trains to London Paddington make the top ten of the Department for Transport's latest overcrowding survey, with early morning trains from Henley-on-Thames appearing on lists covering both spring and autumn 2012.

For autumn, the 7.09am train from Henley to Paddington, which calls at Maidenhead at 7.30am, came in as the ninth busiest with a load factor of 149 per cent - nearly one-and-a-half times its capacity.

In spring, the 7.44am service from Henley came out on top with a load factor of 184 per cent, but dropped off the list completely in autumn after operators First Great Western (FGW) increased capacity by just over 50 per cent.

Another service calling at Maidenhead, the 6.18pm train from Paddington to Oxford, also dropped off the list between spring and autumn.

A spokesman for First Great Western admitted there was still work to do, but said the figures shows the operator's work to reduce crowding on busy London services was working.

He added: "Our strategy continues to identify our busiest services and will do all we can to make improvements to accommodate changing demand."

But some passengers said they have seen few improvements.

Steve Spencer, who works in sport sponsorship, said 'there should be an amazing service' for the cost of a season ticket but said he was left standing '60 per cent of the time'.

James Kirk, who has been commuting into London for about three years, said the problem is just as bad on return journeys as it is the morning and said busy carriages had been 'like a sauna' in the recent heatwave.

The 23-year-old added: "It's still ridiculous. There just doesn't seem to be anything done."

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