Train overcrowding in Greater Manchester

Earlier this week I met with the Rail Minister, the Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP, to discuss the urgent issue of overcrowding on our trains and the delays in additional rolling stock coming to Greater Manchester.

As an issue that is regularly brought to me, I am very aware of the concerns that residents of south Manchester have and I took the opportunity to put these concerns across to the Minister. Along with my Liberal Democrat colleagues Mark Hunter MP and Councillor Keith Whitmore, in his capacity as Vice-Chair of the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA), I pressed the Minister to provide a greater number of carriages for trains operating in the area.
It is ridiculous that additional carriages in Greater Manchester are dependent on other schemes going ahead around the country, and the “cascading” of carriages from one franchise to another. I argued for the simplification of the process, so that new rolling stock for Manchester is not dependent on new trains in London!

5 responses to “Train overcrowding in Greater Manchester

  1. Hi John,

    It’s an important issue and I am glad you are working on this.

    What was the minister’s response to your points?



  2. Playing devil’s advocate, I find that everyone tends to get a seat on peak hour trains on the airport line local service. We’ve generally got it good in Withington constituency – though it would certainly be good to see some more capacity on other lines which use smaller trains, and to make sure that capacity stays ahead of demand on our line.

  3. I’m glad to hear that people do tend to get a seat (I occasionally use the service, but not usually in peak times), but there is massive overcrowding on some services in Manchester, and there has been a big increase in passenger numbers over the lifetime of Northern Rail’s franchise. Interestly the biggest increase in numbers has been on the Airport line, but if “fourcryingoutloud” is right, the services, even in peak times, must have been running well under capacity before the start of the current franchise.

  4. The rise in passenger numbers may well be related to better ticket checks on the train and at Piccadilly, and of course you’ll remember that several stations were closed for periods of time whilst being rebuilt. But it is good news that ridership is increasing.

    There have been occasional days over the past few weeks when there haven’t been enough electric trains in service, so a smaller diesel train has substituted. This has not been comfortable, with almost half as few seats, so I can fully empathise with passengers on other lines!

  5. Pingback: Train overcrowding in Greater Manchester « John Leech MP | my Manchester News·

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