17:54 Thursday 11th August 2011
Drive BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
ANDY BURROWS: New statistics from the Office of Rail Regulation have today revealed that rush-hour overcrowding on some trains is worsening. That’s in the South East of the country. But what’s the situation here in Cambridgeshire? We’ve talked lots about increased capacity on services like First Capital Connect. Guy Dangerfield is from Passenger Focus. He may well be on a train right now. Are you packed in like a sardine, Guy Dangerfield?
GUY DANGERFIELD: I’m actually on a bus Andy. But it’s quite busy, so apologies for the background noise.
ANDY BURROWS: What are services like out of Peterborough and Cambridge at the moment? Have people felt the benefit of recently expanded services?
GUY DANGERFIELD: It does appear to be coming through in the statistics that are published. In the past, we’ve had a number of trains in Cambridgeshire that have featured in that Top Ten list of the most overcrowded trains in the country. There are none in this latest set of results which are published today. So that, I think, is reflecting the capacity that’s gone in on First Capital Connect. Those busy fast trains from Kings Cross to Cambridge have now got more carriages than they had before. So it is making a difference. There’s more to come later in the year, when 12-coach operations start between Cambridge and Liverpool Street on the West Anglia line. So there is some good news. That’s not of course to say that it’s all wonderful. There are still crowding issues on the Stansted-Cambridge-Ely-Peterborough-Birmingham route which will need to be tackled. So yes. But there is some progress I think.
ANDY BURROWS: Sure. Well thank you very much. Hope your bus isn’t late Guy. That’s Guy Dangerfield there from Passenger Focus, actually on public transport as we spoke to him. So he practices what he preaches.