Glasgow route is Britain’s most overcrowded service

Morning commuters at Glasgow Central Station. Picture: SWNS
Morning commuters at Glasgow Central Station. Picture: SWNS
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Overcrowding on trains has hit one of its highest levels and is set to get worse, Labour has claimed.

A study by the party suggested the most overcrowded train routes are on average 187 per cent over capacity.

The most overcrowded route in 2018 was the 4:22am train from Glasgow Central to Manchester Airport. The service had twice the number of passengers it was designed to carry, Labour said.

Last year also saw cancellations or significantly late services at their highest level in 17 years, the study indicated.

Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald said: “Making passengers pay more in real terms to travel on increasingly overcrowded trains is simply not sustainable.

“The government’s blind obsession with privatisation is putting the future of the railway at risk.”

The findings were released as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described yesterday’s increase in rail fares as a “disgrace”.

In a video message, Mr Corbyn said the rail network should work in the interests of everybody, not just for “the profits of the few”. He said the government was to blame for the price hikes.

The cost of many rail season tickets has risen by more than £100 due to the 3.1 per cent average increase in fares ­yesterday, with punctuality running at a 13-year low. ScotRail fares have increased by 2.8 per cent.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling blamed trade unions for the price hikes. He said in a radio interview: “The reality is the fare increases are higher than they should be because the unions demand – with threats of national strikes, but they don’t get them – higher pay rises than anybody else.

“Typical pay rises are more than 3 per cent and that’s what drives the increases.”

The rail industry insists the “vast majority” of revenue from fares covers the day-to-day costs of running the network.

One in seven trains was delayed by at least five minutes in the past 12 months as a series of major issues plagued the railway.

Meanwhile, hundreds of ScotRail services have been cancelled over the past two months as the operator scrambled to complete driver training.

A rail campaign group described the latest fares rise as “another kick in the wallet” for passengers.

Mr Grayling marked the increase in fares by announcing a new railcard to extend child fares to 16- and 17-year-olds.