Calls for extra train carriages after Leeds commuters left stranded

By Liam Smedley

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Northern Rail provide the train service on Leeds’ Headingley and Burley park route

 

Frustrated rail users are calling on Northern Rail to add extra carriages to the packed Headingley and Burley line after being stranded on the platform due to packed to capacity trains.

Northern Rail claim the problem is due to a 47 per cent increase in rail users over the past decade.

However, Leeds residents feel this occurs because Northern Rail only supply two carriages for the service.

Many passengers have been turned away on the Headingley and Burley Park line towards the City Centre due to overcrowding and had to wait for a later train, delaying them for work or education.

Other users have also chosen to call a taxi or get on a bus, even though they’ve already bought a train ticket.

Many passengers are left on the platform at the Burley Park and Headingley stops

Many passengers are left standing on the platform at the Burley Park and Headingley stops

Dan McConnell, 26, from Kirkstall Lane in Headingley said: “It happens at least twice a week and it makes me late for work. I pay for a monthly pass and it’s 50/50 if I can get on the train or not. It’s got to the point where I’ve bought a bike.”

Eleanor Hastwell, 33, has lived in Burley Park for 12 years and also works in Leeds City Centre.

She boards the train from Burley Park station and has had similar issues.

Miss Hastwell said: “Recently I’ve struggled to get the train because the carriages are too full, so I’ll buy a ticket then won’t be able to use it which is frustrating.

Eleanor Hastwell, 33, from Burley Park is frequently paying for both train and bus

Eleanor Hastwell, 33, from Burley Park is frequently paying for both train and bus

This means I’m paying for a bus on top of the train fare. Even if I can get on the train it’s completely squashed. The prices keep going up but the conditions don’t seem to improve.”

A Northern Rail spokesperson said: “We have experienced a staggering  growth in passenger journeys over the past decade and carrying these additional numbers every year does give us some serious challenges, particularly with capacity.

“We know overcrowding continues to be a concern for passengers travelling through Burley Park and we are working hard to address this. The safety of our passengers and employees is Northern’s highest priority and we continue to monitor the situation.”

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