'Overcrowding shows rail industry is a victim of its own success', says campaigner

'Overcrowding shows rail industry is a victim of its own success', says campaigner

Bruce Williamson says overcrowding shows success

Monday, February 26, 2018

The rail industry has become a victim of its own success as trains are overcrowded, but it has to improve its service and planning, a rail improvement campaigner has said. 

Southern Rail passengers were outraged yesterday (February 25) when they found that engineering work had brought the cancellation of their train, and then that a rail replacement service for the Gatwick Express was overcrowded, leaving a huge crowd of commuters stuck in freezing temperatures.

The police had to be called as the queues mounted, and those stuck in the crowd afterwards claimed there were stampedes.

Bruce Williamson from rail improvement campaign group Railfuture told Mike Graham and Katie Perrior: "With the best will in the world things go wrong and the rail industry to some extent has become the victim of its own success. We see this with overcrowded trains​.

"You’ve got rail replacement buses but what’s your plan B and what’s your plan C?

"We haven’t got plan B and I think that’s unacceptable" Williamson added, and the problems are compounded "when you don’t put on enough buses."

Train operators "will argue we were taken by surprise by the number of people" however "I think it would’ve become apparent over the course of the day that passenger numbers were greater than expected."

There's a "really embarrassing situation where the Twitter-verse is on top of the game" so the public are "telling the staff what’s actually happening" on the rail network. 

Listen to the full interview above