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Misinformation feeds HS2 misunderstanding, part three

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Part two

Birmingham city council leader Albert Bore: '5,000 people rail standees into Birmingham on West Coast in 2011'It is the West Coast Main Line, in particular its southern section, for which Phase 1 of the HS2 railway is intended to provide relief in anticipation of the route becoming overloaded by the early 2020s.

There is already serious overcrowding on this route: in 2011, during the morning peak there were on average 4,000 people standing on arrival into London Euston and 5,000 people standing on arrival into Birmingham. That’s according to Birmingham city council leader Albert Bore, writing in ‘Key Connections‘, an HS2 advocacy publication by transport operator Keolis (which is majority owned, through SNCF, by the French state).

As explained in HS2 and rail crowding, the 3-hour morning standee passenger count at Euston was lower in 2012, than in 2011.

But the 2011 data is as good as any, for putting numbers of standing passengers in perspective. At London Bridge, the standee count was 32,536, compared with 3,716 at Euston (3-hour am peak).

So Albert Bore’s claim of ‘serious overcrowding on this route’, is misleading. By comparison with other routes, West Coast overcrowding is not ‘serious’. Neither Keolis nor councillor Bore seem prepared to admit that HS2 could not help with crowding on most routes into Birmingham. The claim of ‘5,000 morning standees into Birmingham’ referred to 177 services on all routes, not the West Coast route alone, as claimed by councillor Bore.

2011 passengers in excess of capacity, London

Written by beleben

December 2, 2013 at 10:48 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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3 Responses

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  1. As previously crowding could be reduced by (a) providing stand-easy seats throughout some carriages thereby increasing their fully seated capacity by 50% to 100% (b) fares could be raised as would happen in any normal business where demand exceeded supply, particularly if the business were heavily loss making as are the railways (c) carriages could be added leading to the immense hardship of some passengers having to walk to more central ones at some stations.
    As to forecast passengers being related to GDP, a key assumption, we note that between 1955 and 1995 rail use grew not at all but that GDP grew by 160% thereby sabotaging the assumption . In contrast, since 1995 GDP has grown by a mere 35% whereas rail use has grown by 70%. The latter will be due to the razzmatazz of privatisation and to massive subsidy rather than to GDP. The effect of the razzmatazz may now be spent………………


    December 2, 2013 at 10:11 pm

  2. The bulk of the passengers standing on trains into Birmingham during the morning three hour peak were on London Midland trains i.e. commuters. These were followed by Cross Country, Chiltern Railways and Arriva Trains Wales in that order. The number of passengers on Virgin trains (which is an intercity service like HS2) was zero. Data for 2011 from DfT.

    Andrew Bodman

    December 3, 2013 at 8:14 am

  3. […] of commuters are already standing on rush-hour trains into Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Euston. Major infrastructure takes years […]

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