FARE HIKE: 2.5% increase in rail ticket prices

In this new year, rail passengers will pay 2.5 per cent more on tickets.
This includes regulated fares like season tickets, with average rise in fares of about 2.2 per cent.

fare hike During his visit today at the Birmingham New Street station, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

“The work at Birmingham New Street is truly impressive and will make a real difference to passengers when it completes later this year. As we invest in projects like this, it is important that we recognise passengers’ concerns about the cost of rail fares. This is why we have frozen them for the second year in a row.”

His visit today was followed by a major signalling problems at the New Street Station leading to disruption in services earlier this morning. Delays were seen till 3pm and some replacement services were provided earlier in the day.

However, passengers reported delays and other problems till late this afternoon.

Unions and passenger groups have protested the hikes, comparing them to a corresponding lack of rise in wages.

Campaign for Better Transport have this interactive Fare v Wage calculator on their website :

fares v wages

While this 2.2 per cent is the lowest increase in the last 5 years, they have said passengers will struggle to get to work without substantial increase in salaries.

2 Brum-London trains among top 10 most crowded

Two of the 10 most overcrowded trains in England and Wales are on the Birmingham New Street-London Euston lines.

The 20:17 and 20:03 trains were the most over crowded trains, spring 2013 data from the Department for Transport has revealed.

Main findings of the report for Birmingham said:

  • On an average 39,000 passengers arrive into Central Birmingham during the morning peak hours, the highest outside of London.
  • At the trains busiest points, 9.0% passengers were standing during the morning peak hours and 8.5% during the afternoon peak hours.

Passenger numbers have increased since 2012, when disruption of the London Midlands services had led to a reduced demand.

Rail passenger numbers and crowding on weekdays in England and Wales in 2013

Rail passenger numbers and crowding on weekdays in England and Wales in 2013. SOURCE: Department for Transport

AM peak arrivals is the number of passengers arriving into the city centre by national rail on a typical autumn weekday during the three hour morning peak (7 – 10am). 

Peak PiXC is the percentage of passengers in excess of capacity (PiXC) across the morning and evening peaks on a typical autumn weekday. It is the main measure of crowding in these statistics. A higher PiXCpercentage represents a worse crowding level.

£1.7M improvements at Acocks Green station nearing completion

Birmingham UpdatesThis is a reblogged post, originally written by Birmingham Updates.

For more updates on ‘News, Travel and Weather’, they are also at @BhamUpdates 

Work installing lifts in a £1.7 million improvement scheme at Acocks Green Station is nearing completion.

Acocks Green Station dates from the Edwardian-era and is one of the busiest rail station in the West Midlands, with 388,592 passenger journeys in 2012/13. However it has previously only had stairs to allow access to the platform from the street and booking hall.

The improvements involve installing lift access from the station booking office to the car park and platforms via a new footbridge spanning the tracks.

Acocks green station

The work is being delivered by Centro and part-funded by the Department for Transport as part of the Access for All scheme – Access for All is a Department for Transport strategy to improve the accessibility of the UK’s railway network.

Funding is granted to improve infrastructure at stations to allow access for anyone for whom stairs would be a barrier, including the disabled, parents with small children or people with heavy luggage.

The Department for Transport awarded £1 million of the total cost and the remainder is being funded by Centro.

Centro lead member for rail, Cllr Roger Horton said:

“This scheme is fantastic news for passengers, it means it will be much easier for people to go by train from Acocks Green.

A key feature is that we consulted with the local community about what we were doing and used that feedback to ensure the design of the new lift towers is in keeping with the rest of the building.”

The station, which has a free 132 space park and ride facility, is a key stop on the Birmingham Snow Hill to Leamington Spa line, an important commuter route that also serves Solihull.

Infrastructure Maintenance Delivery Manager for Network Rail, Mark Sturgess, said:

“These vital improvements to Acocks Green station will make life easier for everyone to use the train, especially those with heavy luggage or reduced mobility.

The new facilities at the station will play an important role in helping us to manage the individual needs of the increasing numbers of passengers who travel on the railway.”

Terry Oliver, head of Snow Hill services for train operator London Midland, added:

“We are delighted that accessibility is improving for passengers at Acocks Green station, thanks to the partnership between the Department for Transport and Centro.

It is one of the busiest suburban stations within the West Midlands, so this is a fantastic step forward for the hundreds of thousands of passengers that use the station each year.”

Work is due to be completed by the end of this summer.

(Image: Peter Sharples)

Research: West Midlands among best in country for rail services

This post was originally published on the Transport Network. Shared here and on Eastside, are some more details on the data revealed from the research on regional rail performance

According to it, London, West Midlands and the North West are the best performing rail regions in terms of overall services, while the East of England and Wales remain low on accessibility.


Overall benchmarking scores put West Midlands and the North West at second place with 50%. London stood at first place here, with 59%.


In terms of growth and usage, London was the highest at 73%, followed by the South East at 56% and the West Midlands at 51%. Factors analysed were trips per head, 10-year growth rate and rail mode share.

The research – Benchmarking Rail Services Across Great Britain - was carried out by consultants, Credo, in association with Campaign for Better Transport.

DfT recommends industry and local government learn from the report.

Peter Wilkinson, director of franchising, Department for Transport said:

“There are challenges for all regions in improving performance. The industry and local government must consider how we best work together to tackle the issues this report raises.”


However, on the service quality front, both London and the West Midlands were quite low with 36% and 41% respectively, compared to the highest scores in Scotland at 55%.


Accessibility scores remain high for London at 68%, followed by the West Midlands at 57%, despite having low value for money scores. East of England emerged the lowest in this category at 17%.

Scottish rail services – which operate under a devolved management for the Scotrail franchise – showed high passenger satisfaction, while Welsh rail services had relatively low levels of usage, accessibility and satisfaction, including the second lowest level for accessibility at 22%.

The research recommends focus on passenger satisfaction around key themes of station cleanliness, security, investments on fleet modernisation and locally identified fare subsidies.

If you have more ideas or questions/comments on improving the presentation of this data, please get in touch @brumtransport

AUDIO: Will cyclists be at greater risks if DfT allows longer lorries on city roads?

Lorries causing chaos

The Department for Transport (DfT) might soon allow lorries longer by about 1.0 – 2.5m on urban road networks.

While the DfT claims that these will not pose any greater risks than the already existing 13.6m long lorries, these claims have been contested by various experts and advisory groups.

Martin Sachs, honorary secretary, Technical Advisory Group, said, in an interview to Brum Transport that vulnerable road users like cyclists are likely to be at greater risks.

“The longer lorries will have an increased tail swing of the vehicles, and drivers will be completely unaware of having knocked off cyclists”

More from him in this interview below:

Soon to follow: Mum holds up traffic in Kings Heath in memory of daughter’s cycling accident