Hundreds of thousands more passengers on trains at Kingston and Surbiton

Trains: File photo

Trains: File photo

First published in News
Last updated
Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

Hundreds of thousands of extra train journeys last year put the borough’s stations under increasing strain.

More than 4.5m passengers were recorded entering Surbiton, the busiest station, in 2012/13, up more than 200,000 from the year before.

That works out at more than 12,000 entries per day, up from 7,600 10 years ago.

More than 2,300 people changed trains every day at Surbiton last year.

The number of entries at Kingston is on course to break the 3m mark this financial year, while the figures for Chessington South and Malden Manor appear to be falling, according to Office of Rail Regulation statistics.

Last year South West Trains promised longer trains during rush hour, amid yet more above-inflation fare rises.

Stephen Knight, Liberal Democrat London Assembly member for southwest London, said: “It’s important that our stations are upgraded to cope with the extra numbers, and that facilities are improved, and that train operating companies provide the necessary trains and carriages to cope.”

Surrey Comet:

New tracks were recently installed at Surbiton, with improvements to lighting and platform canopies currently underway.

Plans to extend platforms at Kingston could cause problems for motorists, however, after Kingston Council announced plans to close Richmond Road between Sopwith Way and Cromwell Road.

The closure could be enforced from Saturday, March 15, with work on platforms expected to take a month.

A diversion would be put in place through Cromwell Road, Queen Elizabeth Road, London Road, Park Road, and Elm Road.

Comments (3)

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4:24pm Mon 3 Mar 14

DB says...

This is good news in that it must put more pressure on SWT to provide a reasonable service from these stations.

Surbiton has been overcrowded for years, but it has only really been in the last couple of years that we have been in a situation of not being guaranteed of getting on the first rush-hour train that comes into the station.

Many more people are giving up on the pre-8.30 departures from Surbiton and getting the trains at 8.38, 8.42 & 8.48, but unfortunately SWT don't consider these to be rush-hour services so they are only short formation 8 carriage trains which are getting very over-crowded as well. I notice that they still consider these services to be 'peak-time' as far as ticket prices are concerned!

There is no long term solution that I can see. We need another few trains an hour through Surbiton and the infrastructure just cannot handle that (we are told).
This is good news in that it must put more pressure on SWT to provide a reasonable service from these stations. Surbiton has been overcrowded for years, but it has only really been in the last couple of years that we have been in a situation of not being guaranteed of getting on the first rush-hour train that comes into the station. Many more people are giving up on the pre-8.30 departures from Surbiton and getting the trains at 8.38, 8.42 & 8.48, but unfortunately SWT don't consider these to be rush-hour services so they are only short formation 8 carriage trains which are getting very over-crowded as well. I notice that they still consider these services to be 'peak-time' as far as ticket prices are concerned! There is no long term solution that I can see. We need another few trains an hour through Surbiton and the infrastructure just cannot handle that (we are told). DB
  • Score: 0

9:55am Tue 4 Mar 14

Mr Chipps says...

SWT's "service" from Surbiton and Kingston is woeful. They constantly fail to address issues of overcrowding and standard of carriages provides (especially on the Kingston loop).

There needs to be some fast trains from Kingston to Waterloo.
SWT's "service" from Surbiton and Kingston is woeful. They constantly fail to address issues of overcrowding and standard of carriages provides (especially on the Kingston loop). There needs to be some fast trains from Kingston to Waterloo. Mr Chipps
  • Score: 1

11:37am Tue 4 Mar 14

DB says...

Mr Chipps wrote:
SWT's "service" from Surbiton and Kingston is woeful. They constantly fail to address issues of overcrowding and standard of carriages provides (especially on the Kingston loop). There needs to be some fast trains from Kingston to Waterloo.
The lack of fast trains from Kingston is one of the best indications of the woeful lack of investment that there has been in our railways over the years.

The train companies love the jolly little story that back in the 1830s Kingston did not want the train line too close to the town so it went instead to Surbiton.

That is very true, but it is also almost 200 years ago and Kingston is now a large commercial centre and London suburb that suffers from a comedy train service because so little has been invested over those years. Still it is accepted that Kingston should only have a branch line service.

Surbiton has the opposite problem. The number of trains per hour and the time taken to get to Waterloo is excellent for a town of Surbiton’s size and location, but the problem is that too many people have moved there especially to take advantage of it that it is 50% more crowded than it was in 2007, and probably 200% more than 15 years ago.

No one is saying that putting more infrastructure in is going to be cheap or easy, but it would certainly appear necessary. The quick fixes at Surbiton are extending the length of rush hour trains and making some of the long distance white trains stop there rather than travelling straight through half empty. These are common sense changes that should have already been made, but even if they are made now, they will only get us back to just about acceptable levels of over-crowding and won’t deal with any future growth in passenger numbers.
[quote][p][bold]Mr Chipps[/bold] wrote: SWT's "service" from Surbiton and Kingston is woeful. They constantly fail to address issues of overcrowding and standard of carriages provides (especially on the Kingston loop). There needs to be some fast trains from Kingston to Waterloo.[/p][/quote]The lack of fast trains from Kingston is one of the best indications of the woeful lack of investment that there has been in our railways over the years. The train companies love the jolly little story that back in the 1830s Kingston did not want the train line too close to the town so it went instead to Surbiton. That is very true, but it is also almost 200 years ago and Kingston is now a large commercial centre and London suburb that suffers from a comedy train service because so little has been invested over those years. Still it is accepted that Kingston should only have a branch line service. Surbiton has the opposite problem. The number of trains per hour and the time taken to get to Waterloo is excellent for a town of Surbiton’s size and location, but the problem is that too many people have moved there especially to take advantage of it that it is 50% more crowded than it was in 2007, and probably 200% more than 15 years ago. No one is saying that putting more infrastructure in is going to be cheap or easy, but it would certainly appear necessary. The quick fixes at Surbiton are extending the length of rush hour trains and making some of the long distance white trains stop there rather than travelling straight through half empty. These are common sense changes that should have already been made, but even if they are made now, they will only get us back to just about acceptable levels of over-crowding and won’t deal with any future growth in passenger numbers. DB
  • Score: 1

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