die belebende Bedenkung

HS2 and Milton Keynes commuting, part two

with 2 comments

Neither the government, nor London Midland train operating company, will give station by station details of current rail commuting. However, it is clear that the city of Milton Keynes is by far the biggest ‘commuter town’ on the West Coast Main Line.

According to Milton Keynes council, in 2001, there were around three and a half thousand people commuting from MK to Brent, Camden, Islington, Tower Hamlets, Westminster, Hillingdon, and the City of London. Although the quantum has increased since then, the council’s 2001 figures give an insight into the pattern and size of commuter flows.

Milton Keynes, out of town commuting patterns 2001 (other London boroughs do not show, because only boroughs receiving 200 or more commuters were included)

But most out-of-town commuting from Milton Keynes does not have London as the destination.

Suppose all the people counted as ‘commuting from MK to London’ in 2001 used London Midland rail for their journey (i.e., no-one went by Virgin Trains, coach, or car). How many ‘equivalent trains’ would be needed to carry them all (without a single person having to stand)?

A 12-coach Class 350/2 train has 828 seats. So, the entire 2001 MK-to-London commuter volume would fit, ‘comfortably’, into five trains. Across the three hour morning peak, that is the equivalent of just 1.67 trains per hour.

How does that compare with the actual number of paths available on the West Coast fast, and slow, lines into Euston?

Did someone try to claim there was a ‘commuter capacity’ case for HS2?

Written by beleben

April 19, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Posted in HS2

2 Responses

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  1. So that’s one particular location. What about all the others? As you get closer to London, the percentage of people who commute into London will increase and so the town being smaller does not mean demand will be smaller. Once you add up all these places you’ll see there are more than enough people to fill up the current commuter services. The rapidly increasing house prices in London are making long distance commuting more and more worthwhile every year, so it’s not like numbers are going to start going down any time soon, and the wonders of compound growth means that you don’t need a large year-on-year growth rate to result in massive changes over the longer term.
    [Comment by Beleben:] This post is about MK commuting. Obviously, people in WCML towns nearer to London, don’t need access to the fast lines to get to London. You were warned: if you post daft comments, I will delete.


    April 19, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    • What happens on the Slow lines affects what happens on the Fast lines. If all the Slow line capacity is taken up by non-MK commuters then how else would MK commuters be accommodated other than on the Fast lines?

      [Comment by Beleben:] You might as well write, “If all the Slow line capacity is taken out by a meteorite falling from outer space, how would MK commuters be accommodated other than on the Fast lines?” If you’ve got evidence that ‘all the Slow line capacity is taken up by non-MK commuters’, then post it.


      April 20, 2016 at 12:57 am

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