Good news from First Great Western… but I don’t think it’s enough to meet current demand (by which I mean the not entirely unreasonable demand that if you pay lots of money for a ticket you might just be allowed to have a seat…) Also, and this is something I have brought up time and time again, we ought to be looking at latent demand. How many more people would use the train if the service was better? I think the last figure I saw was that there would be a 14% increase, but memory is a bit rusty on that…. Here’s the announcement from FGW.
“As you may already be aware, earlier today the Government announced that we have been successful in securing additional trains for the Greater Bristol area. This will mean a seven per cent increase in seating capacity in the morning peak, and three per cent in the evening peak during the December 2011 timetable period. Overall there will be a total of 932 additional seats across the key peak services. The new vehicles will be added onto existing services to significantly increase capacity on many of our busiest trains.
As you know, we have been talking to the Department for Transport for some time about the need for this capacity, and we are delighted they have been able to make this happen.
We have received a great deal of support from Members of Parliament, local authorities and other key partners in our discussions, and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you personally for your help and support.
It is not everything we all wanted and there will still be some very busy services at peak times. It is however a very significant step forward and one that will improve the quality of service for many of our customers.”