The Government announced this week that it is reneging on its promise to tackle overcrowding on our trains.
Back in 2007, it promised 1,300 new carriages by 2014, an increase of 13 per cent (although even this probably wouldn’t keep pace with demand, which is predicted to increase by 22.5 per cent between 2007 and 2014). But now they’ve admitted that only 423 have been ordered to date and that they only expect to order another 550, leaving the network 327 short of the original commitment. Southern is one of the companies expected to bear the brunt of this decision.
The speed and frequency of the train service between East Croydon and central London is one of the reasons people choose to live here. But the otherwise excellent service is marred by overcrowding during peak hours. It’s often impossible to get a seat and sometimes impossible for everyone waiting on the platform to get on. Why should passengers have to pay higher fares each year and be asked to tolerate more and more overcrowding?
The Government wants Croydon Council to plan for thousands of additional homes in the borough. If it isn’t prepared to invest in the necessary improvements to public transport, how are all these extra people going to get to and from central London? Would the Government prefer them to drive?
This decision makes no sense.