Manchester train one of most overcrowded in country

Shocking new figures have revealed that the First TransPennine Express routes in and out of Manchester are now some of the most overcrowded outside of the London area, with nearly a quarter of passengers being forced to stand during peak times.

Records show that the early morning commute from Manchester to Middlesbrough is the third most crowded in the country, after services from Heathrow to London Paddington and London Euston to Birmingham.

The 6.23am service has a capacity for 166 passengers, but there are on average 269 on board – an increase of 62 per cent.

Daniel Kelham, 27, from Castlefield, takes the train regularly from Manchester Piccadilly to Sheffield believes the service is becoming too overcrowded, saying: “The trains are just too small. The fact they are among the worst doesn’t shock me at all.”

A spokesperson from First TransPennine Express has stated that they are aware of the overcrowding problem and vow to resolve it as soon as possible, adding that there has been a £60m cash injection from the Department of Transport.

It is believed they will use it to buy ten new four-carriage electric trains for the Manchester to Scotland route, which will provide an 80 per cent seating boost, 25 per cent more luggage space and 200 new jobs.

Chris Nutton, FTPE programme director, said: “We recognise that services particularly in the peak times can be very busy and we are adding additional capacity across our network.

“We do appreciate that crowded services are not ideal for customers and I want to re-assure passengers that all our available fleet is deployed throughout the day. The new trains will provide much needed additional capacity for services in and out of Manchester.”

The new trains are due to come into service in December and fully deployed by May.

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