"Rail passengers face a substantial increase in overcrowding from 2014 because the government is not buying enough carriages, a report by MPs warns today.
"The Department for Transport's train procurement programme will miss original targets for preventing increased overcrowding, according to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Under current plans there will be 15% fewer extra places on London-bound trains during rush hour, compared with earlier targets, representing a drop from 117,000 new seats to 99,000.
"The MPs added that commuters will have to endure packed carriages unless the rail industry tackles a cost base that makes it one of the most expensive in Europe. "Rising demand for rail travel combined with serious cuts in public expenditure make it imperative that the rail industry becomes more efficient, otherwise the passenger will suffer," the MPs said. The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), which represents 19 franchises, estimates that the London commuter market will grow by 35% over the next 25 years."