Select Committee on Transport Written Evidence

Memorandum by Rail Passengers Council (OPT 19)



  The Rail Passengers Council (RPC) welcomes the opportunity to submit a memorandum for the Transport Committee's forthcoming inquiry into overcrowding on public transport. This memorandum represents a coordinated response from the RPC—on overcrowding on the national rail network—on behalf of the Rail Passengers Committees around the country.


  Since 1910 more people have travelled more kilometres using various methods of transport, but the number of kilometres travelled by train each year has remained static. Railtrack made the point that the stability of rail passenger numbers against a background of social change, two world wars and the increase in car ownership and travel, "results from an overall capacity constraint on the rail network" (Network Management Statement, 1999).

  Pre-privatisation, increased car ownership, new roads and job and population dispersal reduced rail passenger demand by between 1% and 2.5% per year, but the last few years have seen constant growth. In the past there have been peaks and troughs in passenger demand. However, there is an expectation that the present growth in demand will continue and the Government's current targets, set out in the Department for Transport's (DfT's) 10 Year Plan and the SRA's Directions and Guidance, are for a 50% increase in passenger rail use.

  Extra demand puts serious strain on the rail network. There is a limit to the number of trains that can be run on the existing network and a limit to the amount of rolling stock currently available. The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) has recently consulted on the development of a capacity utilisation policy. The Rail Passengers Council supports the need for a policy and welcomes the importance the SRA places on making optimum use of the network's capacity. In its response to the consultation—which is available on request—the Council urged the SRA to develop demand-led solutions, built around passengers', local, regional and wider societal needs.

  If passenger demand continues to grow, overcrowding on the capacity constrained rail network will be exacerbated. Both the DfT's 10 Year Plan and the SRA's Directions and Guidance stipulate the Government's target to "reduce overcrowding in London to meet SRA standards by 2010". However, overcrowding on trains is not confined to the London area—long-distance routes and other cities also suffer from overcrowding (eg GNER services from Kings Cross, particularly in the evening peak; peak services on the Harrogate-Leeds line; Central Trains' peak Liverpool-Manchester services; peak Bathgate-Edinburgh services).

Overcrowded carriages

  It is not surprising that increased passenger demand for services, on a capacity limited network, where a limited number of trains pull a limited number of carriages, leads to overcrowding on some carriages—particularly around peak times. Overcrowded carriages indicate that services provided in that area at that time of day are insufficient. There are many factors that may lead to carriages becoming overcrowded, capacity constraint on the network outlined above is just one of these. Where definitions of overcrowding exist on the national network, these are not consistent for all trains or all journeys. However, uncomfortably full carriages will not entice and cannot accommodate the car drivers whom the Government would like to encourage to use public transport.

Contractual obligations

  Under the franchise agreements, negotiated during the original round of franchising, train operating companies (TOCs) are bound to "use all reasonable endeavours to ensure that sufficient capacity is provided on each train used . . . to carry, without excessive overcrowding, all passengers intending to travel on such train [sic] and holding a valid Fare (and if required, a reservation) for such train [sic]".

  Each TOC produces a passenger's charter that has to be at least as favourable to passengers as British Rails' (BR's) Passenger's Charter. It is a requirement, based on the BR standard, that TOCs commit in their charters to providing adequate services so that passengers do not have to stand for longer than 20 minutes (Passengers Charter, Guidance for Train Operating Companies, OPRAF, September 1998). Individual Passenger Service Requirements (PSRs) may stipulate further capacity requirements and some Public Transport Executive (PTE) franchises stipulate detailed capacity requirements.

  Under the franchise agreements, the SRA can, at any time, request that the franchise operator carry out a programme of passenger counts. However, at present, only the London commuter routes and some of ScotRail's commuter routes are regularly subject to annual passenger counts in the Autumn as part of the SRA's Passengers In Excess of Capacity (PIXC) controls. The SRA has not to date required any other TOC to undertake such a count. One reason that the SRA might require other TOCs to carry out a PIXC count would be to inform discussion about a proposed change to a PSR.

Passengers in Excess of Capacity (PIXC)

  Load-factor regulation was introduced by BR to ensure that, in return for subsidy payments, overcrowding is monitored and managed. Currently, the process for monitoring and managing overcrowding on London commuter routes and some of ScotRail's commuter routes comprises the following stages:

    Calculating the capacity of peak-period trains:

    —  For journeys of more than 20 minutes, capacity equals the number of Standard Class seats.

    —  For journeys of less than 20 minutes, capacity is the number of seats available on the train plus 10% standing in slam door trains.

    —  Currently, for sliding-door trains, the capacity threshold is one passenger per 0.45 million2 of the floor area of the carriage, whether occupied by a seat or not. To calculate capacity, the number of seats are counted (each taken to occupy 0.45 million2) and the total seat area is subtracted from the total floor area to give the area available for standing passengers—eg for a sliding-door carriage of 45 million2 with 50 seats, allowance is made for 50 standing passengers.

  Taking a passenger count and calculating the PIXC:

    The PIXC limit is:

    —  For either the morning or the evening peak alone, 4.5%.

    —  For both peaks combined, 3%.

  If a TOC breaches those PIXC levels, it must draw up an action plan to bring down overcrowding to within the limits.

  The SRA publishes the results of the PIXC annual Autumn passenger counts in its On Track publication. Table 1 shows the results of the counts carried out in Autumn 2001. The SRA's figures show that the number of passengers travelling into London increased by 1% in 2001 compared with the previous count in Autumn 2000/Spring 2001. The total number of passengers travelling into central London at peak times during the 2001 survey was 471,388—up 4,468 on the previous count. However, the SRA does not indicate how train capacity (train frequency and train length) has changed over the same period. Three out of the ten measured London commuter TOCs exceeded their PIXC thresholds in the morning peak in the Autumn 2001 count, none of the TOCs exceeded the threshold in the evening peak and four out of the ten TOCs exceeded the threshold across both daily peaks. Additionally, the aggregate PIXC figure for the London commuter TOCs exceeds the threshold for the morning peak and that for both daily peaks combined. These results confirm that the morning peak is more concentrated than the evening peak.

  In On Track, for the period October 2001 to March 2002, the SRA stated that "overcrowding decreased slightly . . . [in 2001 compared with the previous count] . . . , with eight of the 10 London commuter train operators recording a decrease in overcrowding during the morning peak and two recording an increase in overcrowding". However, in the evening peak, five out of the ten London commuter TOCs included in the count showed an increase in overcrowding under the PIXC regime, while four showed a decrease and one showed no change. Aggregated over the two daily peaks, three of the London commuter TOCs showed an increase in overcrowding, six a decrease and one no change.

  Table 1 shows that in Scotland, overcrowding on ScotRail's commuter services across the Forth Bridge decreased in the morning peak in Autumn 2001 compared with Spring 2000/Autumn 2002, increased in the evening peak and decreased slightly overall.

Train operating company
Route group
AM peak
PM peak
0.3% (1.6%)
0.6% (1.0%)
0.5% (1.3%)
Chiltern Railways
2.4% (2.5%)
0.6% (0.3%)
1.6% (1.6%)
Connex South Eastern
3.2% (3.7%)
1.3% (1.9%)
2.3% (2.9%)
First Great Eastern
3.7% (6.4%)
1.6% (1.4%)
2.7% (4.1%)
8.1% (9.8%)
3.4% (3.1%)
5.9% (6.6%)
   Inner (orbital)
   Inner (radial)
South Central
11.2% (6.2%)
1.0% (2.7%)
6.9% (4.7%)
South West Trains
6.3% (7.9%)
2.5% (1.1%)
4.6% (4.9%)
Thames Trains
3.3% (1.9%)
1.6% (1.9%)
2.5% (1.9%)
4.3% (4.4%)
3.9% (2.7%)
4.1% (3.6%)
West Anglia Great Northern
2.3% (2.8%)
1.6% (1.6%)
2.0% (2.3%)
London commuter service total   
5.0% (5.1%)
1.7% (1.8%)
3.6% (3.6%)
1.3% (3.1%)
3.2% (2.9%)
2.2% (3.0%)

  Table 1: Overcrowding levels (measured as a percentage of passengers in excess of capacity) on London commuter services and on Edinburgh services across the Forth Bridge, Autumn 2001. Values highlighted with grey shading indicate overcrowding levels greater than the defined "acceptable" levels for individual TOCs for the 2001 count; figures in parentheses are those for the previous count in Spring 2000/Autumn 2001. For the Autumn 2001 PIXC count, the allowance for standing room for sliding-door stock differed slightly from the current definition quoted above (employed during the Autumn 2002 count, for which figures are not yet available). The 2001 count required that on sliding-door trains, each standing passenger be apportioned 0.55 million2 of floor space; the number of standing passengers equated to around 35% of the number of seats. Source: SRA.

  However, there are a number of limitations of the PIXC regime. These are as follows:

    —  PIXC is not applied to intercity routes or the former regional railways system; where PIXC is not measured, the level of overcrowding is merely conjecture. Even where PIXC is measured, the passenger counts are conducted manually and are subject to human error—more use could be made of new technology to reduce this error.

    —  Where it is applied in south-east England, PIXC only applies to peak travel into and out of London termini. ScotRail similarly looks only at Edinburgh commuter routes. The annual count does not consider differences in summer and winter timetables/demand.

    —  The defined capacity of a train is set to accommodate a significant number of standing passengers for journeys of less than 20 minutes. For sliding-door trains all the floor area between the seats—regardless of whether there are handholds—is assumed to be standing room.

    —  The PIXC for each commuter TOC is determined for the operator's whole franchise and is not disaggregated by route group. For example, Table 1 shows that in 2001, Thameslink exceeded the PIXC threshold for the "inner" route group for both the morning and evening peak despite the fact that aggregate figure for both the "inner" and "outer" route groups was below the PIXC threshold. Within each route group, the PIXC is aggregated across all the trains in the count—ie individual trains may be over-capacity, but the count may show the route group to be within limits. PIXC is a lower standard than BR's measure of overcrowding, which used to disaggregate for "inner" and "outer" services.

    —  Cancelled trains are considered to be part of the capacity on the route. Even if, for example, the first train on a route was cancelled and all 500 of its passengers squeezed onto the next train, the PIXC figures would not show that a train was 100% over capacity. PIXC is a count of passengers in excess of scheduled capacity over a given period.

    —  Under the PIXC scheme, overcrowding is only monitored once a year; PIXC is measured at key points where highest passenger numbers are deemed to occur, not necessarily the terminal stations.

  If a TOC is found to have PIXC above the threshold, the TOC has to provide a plan for reducing this overcrowding. Theoretically, an enforcement action can be started if the problem is not solved. However, as with any enforcement action under the current system, if the problem is rectified before the enforcement action is completed, the enforcement action must be halted and restarted if the problem recurs. On Track for the period October 2001 to March 2002, which contains the most recent PIXC figures, does not cite any action being taken to alleviate overcrowding by TOCs that exceed the PIXC threshold.

  A further criticism of the PIXC regime is that the threshold that is deemed "acceptable" by the SRA may not be deemed so by passengers. If the capacity is X, (including standing space for journeys of less than 20 minutes), how can it be acceptable for there to be X+4.5% passengers on aggregate at one of the peaks? Indeed, the results of the National Passenger Survey carried out in Autumn 2002, revealed that only 60% of all passengers questioned were satisfied with the amount of seats/standing space and 19% were dissatisfied. At a regional level, overcrowding was thought, by passengers, to be worst in London (54% satisfied; 24% dissatisfied), while the next highest percentage of passengers who were dissatisfied (17%) was recorded in three regions—the English Midlands, South England and Wales.

Short Formations Incentive Payment

  Peak commuter services into and out of London and some other cities are subject to the Short Formations Incentive Payment regime. Under this scheme, operators must have a train plan to show how capacity will be delivered. If the operator fails to deliver its plan, a charge is made based on a proportion of the cancellation charge. Again, as with any enforcement action under the current system, if the problem is rectified before the enforcement action is completed, the enforcement action must be halted and restarted if the problem recurs. First Great Western, Midland Mainline and Virgin West Coast are subject to slightly different regimes—short formations payments, details of which can be found in the SRA's On Track publication covering the period from July to September 2002.

Franchises without load-factor regulation

  Outside the London commuter routes, some commuter routes in Edinburgh and some PTE franchises with capacity specification, the majority of franchised services have had no monitoring or enforcement regime for overcrowding since the first round of franchising. Although the SRA can ask for passenger counts at any time, this has not happened to date. TOCs are required to plan services to avoid excessive overcrowding, however "excessive" is not defined. The only action the SRA would take under current arrangements would be if the capacity provided by a TOC fell below the level of capacity at franchising—ie if the TOC reduced the service to below PSR levels, or reduced the number of carriages on those trains.

  If the SRA did order a passenger count and found services provided in the PSR to be inadequate to meet demand, the TOC concerned would be entitled to ask for payment to increase service provision.

Overcrowding as a safety issue

  Anyone with a valid ticket for travel on a train has the right to get on it (National Rail Conditions of Carriage). However, under the bylaws, authorised staff may decide a course of action in the interests of safety with which passengers must comply. There are recent examples of train drivers refusing to pick up passengers on full trains, citing safety as a reason—eg on Virgin Cross Country routes after the introduction of the "Operation Princess" clockface timetable. In the case of the Virgin Cross Country example, a number of factors have combined to cause severe overcrowding, resulting in passengers standing in the aisles and vestibules and hampering movement of passengers around the trains. A large advertising campaign before the launch of the new timetable resulted in significant increase in demand for the services and problems on the tracks (eg an ongoing speed restriction as a result of an engineering train damaging a vital portion of track at Aynho Junction; and the aftermath of the October 2002 storms) has meant delays and consequently passenger numbers have more time to build up at stations. The result is overcrowding on Virgin Cross Country's more-frequent, but shorter trains. To alleviate the overcrowding, the trains need to be lengthened; the alternative is the much less palatable option of increasing fares to price passengers off the train services.

  The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that "there is no evidence to suggest that overcrowding per se is a safety issue" (Implications of Overcrowding on Railways, HSE Contract Research Report 225/1999). The findings of this report concur with the findings of the Clapham Junction Inquiry. This pronouncement has often been quoted out of context and particularly by TOCs answering complaints about overcrowding.

  It is important to note that both the Clapham Junction Inquiry and the report on Implications of Overcrowding on Railways had a narrow remit in assessing overcrowding as a safety issue. Although the latter mentioned that high stress levels in high passenger density situations had been recorded in research in the 1960s and 70s, the findings were dismissed because the cause of the stress may have been owing to "the lack of choice in the selection of seats and company" more than "the duration of the trip". Previous research into overcrowding was also dismissed by the report on Implications of Overcrowding on Railways. The author of this report considered that passenger densities and the situation on a train to be different from those experienced at large-scale incidents—for example Hillsborough, on which much research into crowd behaviour was based. Hence little consideration was given, for example, to uncontrolled evacuation. The report conjectured that the "suddenness of impact . . . reduces the likelihood that individuals will have sufficient time to effect some kind of behavioural response to the situation". Likewise, passengers being swept off trains in a "surge" was not given any consideration in the report on Implications of Overcrowding on Railways, despite mention of research on this phenomenon in the same report.

  The report therefore concentrated on injuries as an effect of overcrowding in the event of a crash. In comparing the injuries that were likely to be sustained, using information from previous rail crashes, it was concluded that both seated and standing passengers were likely to be injured to an equal degree of severity in a crash at high speed. Seated passengers would have less risk of serious injury in the case of a low-speed impact, particularly if they had sufficient time to brace themselves. The report conceded that the more passengers on a train, the more people would be injured in the event of a crash. However, the report maintained that the proportion of seated and standing passengers injured would be the same. The report suggested that the higher number of passengers exposed to risk of injury on one train had to be weighed against the risk posed by adding another train to carry the excess passengers on an already busy network. The report concluded that there was no net factor in case of crash to say overcrowding is a safety issue per se. However, the HSE report was published a month before the Paddington rail disaster in which fire played a significant part in increasing the number of fatalities. On an overcrowded train, in the event of a fire evacuation is impeded and more fatalities are likely. Whereas buildings are governed by fire regulations that determine levels of occupancy, trains are not.

  Little weight has been given to health and safety issues on overcrowded trains other than injury in the event of a crash. Capacity constraint on the network at a time of growth in passenger demand and the running of "1000 extra trains" rightly requires safety experts to focus on management of the network and ensuring crashes/derailments do not occur. Thankfully, however, crashes on the rail network are very rare. Nevertheless, people are injured as a result of overcrowding on trains; in hot conditions, discomfort can escalate into fainting. In addition, stress levels do go up in crowded carriages, which may result in unsafe behaviour. The RPC recently carried out a literature study of published research on the health implications of passenger stress caused by overcrowding. The study revealed that very little research on this subject has been conducted and, as such, it is extremely difficult to make an informed judgement as to whether overcrowding on trains and the attendant stress levels per se are detrimental to passengers' health.

  In the addition to the above, there are other safety issues concerning overcrowding. For example, serious overcrowding can result in ventilation problems on trains, which are intensified by the failure of air conditioning units on some trains—such as Class 175s—that do not have manually operated windows.

  Train drivers, controllers, passengers and the Rail Passengers Council and Committees consider overcrowding on trains to be a health and safety issue. There are, of course other issues involved, but failing to take the issue seriously until "objective" evidence is presented is tantamount to waiting for a tragedy to occur.

Factors that contribute to overcrowded carriages

  In addition to general capacity constraint on the rail network, there are a number of factors that may contribute to overcrowding. Some of these factors are outlined below, but the list is not exhaustive:

    No enforced capacity limit on trains

    Whereas all passengers on an aeroplane must have a seat, and buses and coaches have clearly marked seating and standing capacity, the concept of a walk-up fare facility and the open return have been preserved on the train making actual passenger numbers difficult to predict accurately. It has been remarked that there are tighter guidelines concerning the transportation of animals than there are for rail passengers.

    Peak times

    There are some hours of the day, some days of the week and some times of the year when more people want to travel than at other times. A large proportion of people use some form of transport to go to work; Friday evening sees people travelling to weekend destinations; and school holidays, particularly the first and last weekends, see an increase in leisure passengers.

    Passenger bunching

    There is often an uneven distribution of passengers on the trains. Commuters tend to bunch in the carriages nearest the exit at their station to minimise walking time. Longer distance travellers congregate in the coaches nearest the buffet car.

    Special events

    Large sporting events, such as football or rugby matches, have a logistic problem of their own. A typical stadium has tens of thousands of seats with spectators sometimes travelling great distances. Not only are carriages overcrowded in these cases but stations and platforms too.

    Delays and cancellations

    Passengers at a station will take the first available train. Therefore, if the train a passenger intended to take is late or cancelled, the passenger will get on the next train to his/her destination, adding to the usual passenger numbers on that train.

    Inadequate PSR

    Franchise operators are contractually bound to provide the services outlined in their respective PSRs. Any services in excess of the PSR are run on the basis of commercial viability. PSR levels were based on service provision at franchising. However, from February 1996, the Franchising Director's Objectives, Instructions and Guidance restricted PSR services to those that were socially necessary. Lightly used or commercial services were to be omitted from the PSR on the basis that the former were not socially necessary and the latter had a built-in incentive to run. Infrequent services on socially necessary routes result in full carriages.

    Insufficient rolling stock

    There is a limited amount of rolling stock available. In some cases a TOC may decide it is commercially more viable to run short formation trains on some services and redeploy the rolling stock elsewhere. In other cases there is simply a lack of rolling stock to juggle in the case of unusual events eg the sporting events and the Ladbroke Grove crash.

    Lack of incentive to tackle overcrowding

    Under current franchising agreements, there appears to be no incentive for a TOC to put on more services when it can maximise revenue from its existing services by selling more tickets than seats, albeit at the expense of passenger comfort. There also appears to be no incentive for the SRA to demand a passenger count because, if "excessive" overcrowding is found, the TOC will be in a position to ask for extra payment to put on extra services.

Tackling overcrowded carriages

  BR increased standard open fares to price people off the peak trains. Fares regulation made it difficult for privatised TOCs to continue this policy on commuter routes, although price increases on intercity routes at peak times have been justified as a means of alleviating overcrowding at peak times. However, the privatised TOCs have tried to incentivise off-peak travel with cheaper fares on certain services. So far, these efforts appear to have had little effect on peak demand but have attracted passengers onto off-peak trains who might otherwise have not made the journey. Whilst people choose to, or have to, live some distance from their workplaces and whilst offices insist on office hours, there will be morning and evening peaks in passenger demand.

  In trying to meet peak demand, longer trains should be put on at peak times and short formations avoided—payments for short formations provide some incentive for TOCs to ensure trains are sufficiently long. Longer trains are likely to be an inherently safer option than increasing the number of trains on an already crowded network. Ensuring that peak demand can be accommodated through longer trains, means that carriages must be available and train platforms must be long enough. Where there is a shortfall in these areas, investment is needed. However, franchise operators on short leases are reluctant to order rolling stock in excess of their franchise commitments.

  When joining trains together it is important that there are end-corridor through connections. This has an impact on overcrowding. It is not uncommon for passengers to be standing in parts of the train despite empty seats being available elsewhere. Without through-corridors passengers cannot move down the train to spread out the load.

  Overcrowding is often made worse by inadequate information. Passengers may be prepared to wait for a following train if they are told it is coming and that it has room. But often the information is not provided causing a rush for the first train to appear and severe overcrowding. Improved information would help to alleviate overcrowding in some cases.

  There is no effective monitoring or regulation covering overcrowding. There are no uniform capacity requirements and, where regulation exists, it is woefully inadequate. It has been suggested that capacity requirements should be uniformly part of the specification for all routes and should allow for no standing passengers except for in exceptional circumstances. It may not be possible to plan services on some commuter routes to exclude standing passengers, but the existing guideline that states that services should be planned to avoid passengers standing for more than 20 minutes (which is a commitment in many TOCs' passenger's charters) should be adhered to.

  On suburban commuter lines, particularly in south-east England, overcrowding is a result of a severely constrained network, with available paths limiting the possibility of extra services. Overcrowding on rural lines, however, is inexcusable. The paths exist.

Overcrowded stations

  TOCs and Railtrack/Network Rail (in the case of Railtrack Major Stations) are not required to measure station usage. Consequently there is no published data to measure the level of station overcrowding. However, the Rail Passengers Council and Committees are aware that stations, particularly in London, can become severely congested at peak times and/or when there are delays to services. Stations affected include Cardiff Queen Street, Clapham Junction, London Bridge, Kings Cross Thameslink, London Victoria and London Waterloo. Aside from the issue of passenger comfort, passengers' safety is put at risk.

  Overcrowding on platforms (especially where access is made difficult by poor design) puts passengers at risk of being pushed onto the tracks, particularly because overcrowding causes changes in passengers' behaviour and makes jostling and pushing more likely to occur. In addition, severe overcrowding on platforms means that, on occasions, passengers are unable to board trains and are forced to wait for the next service—inconvenient at the least and in the worst case may contribute to temporary or even permanent modal shift to cars. Stations with small concourses that lead directly onto roads may mean that passengers are forced onto the road area where they are put at risk of injury from road traffic. An example of this was at Kings Cross Thameslink station, where overcrowding at an already capacity constrained station was exacerbated during the recent London Underground strikes.

Conclusions and recommendations

  1.  Overcoming systemic capacity constraint and symptomatic overcrowding requires a strategic approach and a willingness to invest.

  2.  Overcrowding should be taken seriously as an issue that concerns drivers, passengers and user groups in terms of passenger comfort and perceived safety. An overcrowded rail network, overcrowded carriages and overcrowded stations discourage people from using trains and exacerbate road congestion.

  3.  The lack of a system to monitor overcrowding on the majority of the rail network means that the extent of the problem is not fully understood; the lack of a enforcement mechanism on the majority of the network means that where passengers perceive an overcrowding problem there is no means of redress. The current Passengers In Excess of Capacity (PIXC) guidelines only cover London commuter train operating companies (TOCs) and Edinburgh services across the Forth Bridge. There are some serious limitations with the PIXC regime even where it is employed. For these reasons:

    Capacity should be defined—for all carriages on all routes.

    Effective monitoring and enforcement of defined capacity requirements should be implemented for all train routes.

  4.  It is unclear why TOCs run trains shorter than planned. It may be that rolling stock is not available—eg due to lack of train fitters or insufficient time for maintenance as a result of having to use existing rolling stock too frequently. In the case of those TOCs subject to penalties for short formations, it may be that it is cheaper and easier to pay the fines rather than have trains on standby or solve the problem. If the latter is the case, this issue must be addressed by the Strategic Rail Authority's (SRA's) franchising policy.

  5.  There may be little scope for increasing the number of services on the capacity constrained rail network, but running longer trains—up to maximum length—on overcrowded routes, particularly at peak times could help to reduce overcrowding. The Rail Passengers Council (RPC) hopes that this issue will be addressed by the SRA's Capacity Utilisation Policy.

  6.  Train services should be planned to meet the travelling needs of the general public rather than TOCs focusing on trying to persuade passengers to travel when it is most commercially viable for the companies.

December 2002

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