MP calls for more trains to service Banbury - but regular rail user says lack of carriages is problem

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Banbury’s MP has called for Chiltern Railways to utilise more trains in a bid to stop overcrowding, but a regular rail user says it’s the lack of carriages that is the real problem.

At a meeting in Parliament with fellow MPs, including Transport Secretary Mark Harper on Monday (May 6), Victoria Prentis MP asked the rail operator to address concerns about overcrowding on its services.

Ms Prentis emphasised the urgency of bringing in a new plan by Chiltern that would see the company lease additional trains to increase capacity.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She said: “I was pleased that the Transport Secretary listened to our concerns and understood the urgency of the situation. I am reassured that he is going to support Chiltern as they navigate the procurement process to secure new trains.”

Banbury MP Victoria Prentis discussing Chiltern Railways overcrowding problem on Monday.Banbury MP Victoria Prentis discussing Chiltern Railways overcrowding problem on Monday.
Banbury MP Victoria Prentis discussing Chiltern Railways overcrowding problem on Monday.

“I know how important Chiltern services are to so many of my constituents who rely on them for getting to work, school and important appointments. I will continue to work with my colleagues, Chiltern and the Department for Transport to get additional trains operating on our routes as soon as possible.”

However, a regular user of Banbury Station has said that more trains are not the solution and that Chiltern Railways should just stop running trains with fewer carriages than is expected, which is known as short-forming.

James Murphy, who is in his 70s and regularly travels to London, said: “The service recently is unreliable; you don’t know whether it will be a full service or short-formed and you will have to stand, which is no joke from Banbury to Marleybone at my age.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Quite frequently, Chiltern Railways are running trains with a reduced number of carriages, and when they come from Birmingham, by the time it gets to Banbury, there won’t be many seats empty.”

Chiltern Railways has said that increasing the capacity of its trains to stop overcrowding is part of its plans for the future, but that it needs government approval before being able to bring in more carriages and trains.

A spokesperson said: “We’re sorry to hear that some of our customers have recently had uncomfortable journeys because of busy trains. The average age of the Chiltern Railways fleet of trains is thirty years old, the oldest in the country.

"We are working hard on proposals to bring in more and newer carriages to provide a better experience for our customers, subject to agreeing the business case and funding with the Department for Transport.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We are doing everything possible to get more trains on the line and replace our oldest trains with newer, more reliable models. To do this we are working urgently with the Department for Transport to acquire trains that are available elsewhere on the rail network.

"We can’t do this on our own though. Trains in the UK are not owned by operators, but leased from specialist providers, and require government approval before they can be used by operators like Chiltern.”

For more information about Chiltern Railways’ plans for the future visit here: