Dear Editor, Overcrowding on trains is a very serious issue. Put simply, if we do not meet the rising demand for rail travel we will force people onto our congested roads.
Rail is growing at six per cent per year and we now have the highest number of rail passengers since the 1920s. It is worth noting we have half the rail network we had back then.
London Midland has recently added another 2,300 seats a day, stating the move would go ‘‘a considerable way to addressing overcrowding.’’
Virgin Trains is already carrying as many passengers in 2011 as HS2 Ltd had projected for 2021.
So, if we don’t have a capacity problem, as HS2 opponents claim, why are operators adding services? And why do we frequently hear and see images of overcrowding in the media?
Rail freight is also growing at a considerable rate – container traffic has grown by 56 per cent in the last eight years.
The figures reported by HS2 Action Alliance (Birmingham Post, December 15) are based on a very small sample and cannot be credibly compared with quarterly figures published by Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) which clearly show escalating demand. HS2 Action Alliance counted passengers on three days at peak time, adding up to less than eight hours of study.
We need HS2 in the West Midlands to bring jobs and opportunities and much-needed capacity.
Go-HS2 Media Officer