Tackling overcrowding on trains

The issue:

Alok has been campaigning for additional capacity on Reading trains to help ease overcrowding.

Achievements to date:

  • The Government announced in November 2011 that it would be making 1,483 extra seats available during the morning peak and 1,731 extra seats during the evening peak hours for Reading passengers.

  • Alok held a Parliamentary debate on rail ticketing on overcrowding in March 2012 during which he pressed the Government to take action to alleviate overcrowding on Reading trains by converting First Class carriages into Standard Class and introducing more flexible ticketing options such as ‘Smart’ ticketing similar to London’s Oyster card system.

  • The Government announced in July 2012 that it intended to bring ‘Smart’ ticketing to Reading as part of the obligations of the train operating company starting a new franchise on the great western line.

  • Alok launched a petition in November 2014 calling on FGW to declassify First Class carriages on its trains, during the busiest periods and to publish data on the number of times it declassifies trains on a daily basis.

  • Alok has welcomed the introduction of 3,000 extra Standard Class seats a day after First Great Western agreed to convert First Class carriages to Standard Class. The conversion means that all trains going into London Paddington from Reading have just 1.5 First Class carriages.

  • Alok has welcomed the news that new Intercity Express Trains, which will provide faster, smoother journeys with increased capacity, will be introduced on the Great Western line from 2017

Next steps:

  • Alok will continue to campaign on behalf of commuters to get value for money from tickets, to increase capacity on the railway, to reduce overcrowding and to bring ‘Smart’ ticketing to Reading.

Alok says:

“For me increasing the number of Standard Class seats is still a work-in-progress but I hope that the common-sense policy of converting First Class carriages to Standard Class will see an end to rows and rows of empty First Class seats when there is simultaneously overcrowding in Standard Class.”