Select Committee on Transport Written Evidence

Memorandum by Envolve (OPT 22)


  Envolve works with Bath & North East Somerset Council to promote travel plans in this authority area. We also jointly co-ordinate an Employers Travel Forum at which employers can meet every three months to discuss common concerns.

  One issue that arises locally is overcrowding on trains between Bath, Bristol and Filton Abbey Wood. People also travel from this area also travel for work in London and sometimes these trains are full in morning and evening peak hours. My personal experience of travelling by a new Virgin Train recently gave me the opinion that these trains would cope worse with overcrowding than current 125 and Inter City trains.

  The proposals for new trains should take into account comfort of passengers when a train becomes overcrowded, for reasons of both health & safety and reasonable comfort. Some aspects of health and safety have restrictive effects to the extent that no window could be opened on the train on which I travelled. I haven't yet travelled a First Great Western Adelante Train, but I will be concerned if design for passenger space is as tight as that for the Virgin train.

  It appears that new trains have been designed with an emphasis on cost-effective seating rather than passenger comfort and safety. It will be difficult to balance efficient design with comfort. My concern is that an experience for travellers on an overcrowded train could be intimidating and put them off public transport.

Barry Maunder

Co-ordinator Bath Employers Travel Forum

December 2002

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