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Station is among the most used in Britain

By Essex Chronicle  |  Posted: June 21, 2012

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MORE than seven million people used Chelmsford Railway Station in the past year, new statistics reveal.

The number of commuters and day-trippers using Chelmsford soared by more than 400,000, according to the latest statistics from the Office of Rail Regulation.

The footfall figures for 2010/2011 equate to a rise of 6 per cent, beating the national average of 5 per cent.

It means Chelmsford is in the top 40 busiest stations nationwide, with more passengers than York, Leicester, Nottingham and Oxford.

David Bigg, of the local rail users' association, said: "It's good news that the number of rail users is rising but it's bad news that people will now be struggling for a seat.

"The problem we have now is that there is more demand than supply.

"From Essex to London, carriages are full.

"This will mean an increase in fares and at the moment we are looking at roughly a 6 per cent increase for next January. Fares will get higher and higher."

The number of extra passengers using stations in Mid Essex during the same period was more than 500,000.

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  • stevetheboy  |  June 22 2012, 3:30PM

    Just to add my experience... I catch the London bound trains departing from platform 2 or if I'm feeling lazy I'll wait and catch the platform1 8:59. I cannot recall having to stand in the last couple of years. That said, I always head for the rear of the train where there are always many seats available.

  • Rhollamby  |  June 22 2012, 3:12PM

    The reality appears to be somewhat subjective. - I catch a train not every week like javenger but I do catch a train every weekday - holidays excepting - from Chelmsford to Liverpool Street (between 6.25 a.m. and 7.03 a.m.) and although these trains generally stop at Shenfield and some also at Ingatestone to board more passengers, there is already standing room only by the time they depart Chelmsford. I am a creature of habit and generally try to board the train somewhere in the front four coaches and it is possible there is more room at the back of the train; but if that turns out not to be the case, what do I do then apart from have to stand anyway, and have a longer and more crowded walk to the exit barriers at Liverpool Street? Dare I take that risk? Perhaps the train that javenger catches every week is on a Saturday or Sunday (I do not commute at weekends), but I have noticed that Mondays and Fridays are slightly less busy on the whole and on those days I am more likely to be able to find an empty seat at Chelmsford. Javenger, I think the scheduling of the trains is part of the 'problem'. The 'spread' of trains available to get me to London fromChelmsford in time for my work, is: 6.29, 6.40, 6.47, 6.56, and 7.03. Note there is only one train between 6.47 and 7.03, and that is the 6.56. Always busy as long as I can remember, the train operator has now seen fit to reduce this service from 12 coaches to 8 coaches. After this time, the service is better as there are trains every 4 or 6 minutes approximately. The return journey is also busy, there being a gap of 14 minutes between the 7.18 p.m. and the 7.32 p.m. I try to catch the earlier one!

  • javenger  |  June 22 2012, 2:26PM

    the reality is somewhat different - I catch a train every week from chelmsford to liverpool st (between 8-8.30am) I can assure you none of these trains are anywhere near capacity and have not been for at least 3 years now.

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