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Railways: Standards

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the minimum statutory space requirement for each rail passenger is; and what estimate his Department has made of how often these space requirements are met. (232023)

Rail statistics are published by the Office of Rail Regulation. The latest data available are for 2006 and are published in the National Rail Trends Year Book for 2006-07, which is available in the Library of the House. The published crowding measure (which was first used by the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising in 2000) is based on an assumed standing room of 0.45 metres per standing passenger.

There are two specific variations to the published measure: Class 376 trains, operating on Southeastern services; and for services operated by Stagecoach South West Trains to and from London Waterloo.

New (Class 376) purpose-built vehicles ordered for Southeastern are configured to serve short-distance Metro passenger flows, and the stock has been specifically configured with low density seating and appropriate grab rails for standing passengers, to ensure that passengers can stand in relative comfort for short-distance journeys; the same is true for Class 455 units operated by Stagecoach South West Trains, on services that stop within 20 minutes of leaving London Waterloo. In these cases the standard is varied to 0.35 and 0.25 square metres respectively.