David Crausby – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Transport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by David Crausby on 2015-11-10.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to deal with overcrowding on Bolton’s commuter trains.

Andrew Jones

Northern Rail is required to use all of its train fleet (allowing for maintenance) at peak times and best match capacity to passenger demand across the franchise. It is for Northern to allocate rolling stock to best fit expected passenger numbers on a day-to-day basis. As you may be aware, we have increased Northern’s train fleet this year, including the introduction of 20 refreshed four coach electric trains in the year to December 2015.

In the longer term, unlike the last Northern franchise let under the previous Labour administration in 2004 which included limited plans to invest in services or meet demand, the next Northern Franchise will see the removal of the existing Pacer trains, the ordering at least 120 new-build carriages, the modernising of every train operating on the Northern franchise, more frequent services on many routes on the Northern franchise, and will be providing more services for commuters, during off-peak times and on Sundays. The electrification of Manchester to Preston via Bolton route, for which preparatory work began this year, will also provide the opportunity for greater capacity electric powered trains to provide services for Bolton commuters. By the end of 2019, services into central Manchester will have seen a 49% increase in passenger-carrying capacity during the morning peak compared to five years earlier, and this will help ease the crowding affecting your constituents.