Clapham Junction To Get Passenger Congestion Relief

And Richard Tracey calls for change at Wandsworth Town and Earlsfield too

Eleven key train stations, including Clapham Junction, were today listed as needing action to ease overcrowding.

The Network Rail list also includes the London stations of Victoria, Fenchurch Street and Charing Cross as well as Liverpool's Lime Street and Wimbledon.

The list excludes stations where congestion-busting measures are already in place such as Paddington and Farringdon in London.

Network Rail also said action should be taken to identify the measures needed to relieve passenger congestion at the 11 stations by 2019.

NR also listed 12 stations with long-term plans which would deal with congestion but which might not be fully committed or developed.

The report suggested various measures to ease congestion, ranging from "soft" options, such as encouraging more print-at-home ticketing or relocating information points, to more expensive options involving provision of additional space.

Network Rail said on-train counting systems already existed but with varying degrees of sophistication. It added that the rail industry did not routinely or systematically count the number of non-travellers at stations, but said, "There is not a direct correlation between the number of station users and the level of congestion observed.

"So merely analysing which stations have the greatest numbers of users will not of itself highlight where crowding is a particular difficulty."

Richard Tracey, London Assembly Member For Merton and Wandsworth, said, "I have been fighting a long campaign to improve conditions at local stations, especially Clapham Junction and Wimbledon, together with my MP colleagues, and have regular contact with Transport ministers and Network Rail, as well as making a documentary about the problem with ITV. There are other stations that should be on the list such as Wandsworth Town and Earlsfield. Plus we need longer trains and the mothballed Waterloo International platforms back in use"

NR's group strategy director Paul Plummer said: "A successful railway station should add to the passenger experience as well as support the economic, social and environmental benefits of rail.

"As more and more people choose to travel by rail, it's vital that passenger congestion is tackled or some stations risk becoming victims of their own success.

"Working with our partners from across the rail industry, we have identified a number of stations that would benefit from cost-effective measures to reduce congestion and improve the travelling experience for passengers."

September 1, 2011