15 October 2008

'Acceptably loaded'

The Department for Transport has altered its definition of the term 'overcrowded' when relating to the state of the UK's train carriages on commuter services in order to give the impression that things are now better than they were.

In a gem printed in today's Times, the DfT has announced that it's altered its definition of an overcrowded train so that many are downgraded to the next, less busy definition: 'acceptably loaded'.

What this means is that the old rules defining an overcrowded train - when 10 people stood per 100 seated - have been scrapped and replaced with new ones - when 30 people are now stood per 100 seated. It's understood that the DfT's desperate attempt to re-define overcrowded trains is as a result of the 1,300 additional carriages it promised operators over 18 months ago are going to be late in coming. They won't be drawn on when operators will receive them now, and only state they they'll all be in service by 2014.