UK commuters are “travelling like cattle”, says survey

Varsha Saraogi 23 August 2019 (Last Updated August 23rd, 2019 14:37)

Britons find overcrowding to be the biggest issue when travelling by public transport alongside heat and overpriced tickets, a new survey by London Assembly Transport Committee revealed

UK commuters are “travelling like cattle”, says survey
Overcrowding is the worst issue when travelling by public transport says survey. Credit: Transport for London

Britons find overcrowding to be the biggest issue when travelling by public transport alongside heat and overpriced tickets, a new survey by London Assembly Transport Committee revealed

To investigate the current condition, challenges and future prospects of London’s transport system, the London Assembly’s transport committee commissioned a survey from YouGov PLC and asked commuters what they disliked the most when using public transport.

In the survey of 1,019 adults, 52% said that overcrowding was the biggest issue. Figures released in July 2019 by the Department for Transport showed that during peak hours, more than 230,000 passengers were standing on trains in London in the previous year – a number that might be on the increase.

Furthermore, 38% cited the trains and tubes to be too hot. During the heatwave in July 2019, the Central Line went beyond body temperature and peaked at 36.4 degrees.

Price wise 24% find the fares– which are due to see another increase by 2.8% from January 2020 – too expensive. The survey also revealed that 32% admitted they would use public transport more if the prices were more affordable.

After investigating the results of the research, the committee will analyse how the commuter experience can be improved and what changes the transport system will require to adapt to potential future constraints. They will then decide which future projects in the capital must be prioritised and the process of implementing them.

Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, Florence Eshalomi, said: “London’s population is expected to grow from 9.1million now to 10.8 million by 2041. However, our research shows that the transport system is already struggling to cope with the number of people in London today.

“It is not enough to have a network that can take Londoners across this large city. Londoners do not deserve to feel as if they are traveling like cattle in packed buses and train carriages.

“Transport for London and the Mayor must bear in mind all the factors that contribute to a good and reliable public transport service for any new, as well as existing, transport projects. It is not only the availability of a service, but also the customers’ experience of it that matters,” said Eshalomil.

Director of Nations and Regions at the Rail Delivery Group, Robert Nisbet is bullish about the future prospects and believes train companies are introducing extra services such as increasing frequency and even adding more seats. He said: “Train companies are working together to increase capacity and make journeys more comfortable by introducing 6,400 extra services a week and running thousands of new carriages as well as hundreds of refurbished-like-new carriages by the early 2020s.

“In the longer term, major upgrades like HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail will add thousands more seats to the network, supporting job creation and better connecting cities across Britain,” said Nisbet.