England

Network Rail lists 11 overcrowded stations needing action

Congested Victoria Station
Image caption Congestion-easing measures include more print-at-home ticketing

Network Rail (NR) has listed 11 stations which need action to ease overcrowding.

They include London's Victoria, Fenchurch Street, Charing Cross, Clapham Junction, Wimbledon and Surbiton stations.

Those out of the capital are Liverpool's Lime Street, Basingstoke in Hampshire, Bristol Parkway, Preston and Watford Junction in Hertfordshire.

NR said measures to reduce congestion should be identified by 2019.

An NR report suggested various measures to ease congestion, ranging from "soft" options, such as encouraging more print-at-home ticketing or relocating information points, to more expensive options involving provision of additional space.

'Victims of success'

It said on-train counting systems already existed but with varying degrees of sophistication and that the rail industry did not routinely or systematically count the number of non-travellers at stations.

But NR added: "There is not a direct correlation between the number of station users and the level of congestion observed.

"So merely analysing which stations have the greatest numbers of users will not of itself highlight where crowding is a particular difficulty."

NR's group strategy director Paul Plummer said: "As more and more people choose to travel by rail, it's vital that passenger congestion is tackled or some stations risk becoming victims of their own success."

The list excludes stations where congestion-tackling measures are already in place, such as Paddington and Farringdon in London.

NR also listed 12 stations with long-term plans which would deal with congestion, but which might not be fully committed or developed.

These 12 stations are: Barking in east London, Bristol Temple Meads, Chelmsford in Essex, Derby, Finsbury Park in north London, Glasgow Queen Street (High Level), Leeds, Liverpool Central, London Euston, Manchester Piccadilly (west side platforms), Manchester Victoria and Tottenham Hale in north London.

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