Thousands of seats to ease train overcrowding

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THOUSANDS of extra seats will be available every day for rail passengers travelling from Sheffield within the next few weeks.

Operators East Midlands Trains and Northern are bringing extra carriages into service when new timetables come into force from December 11.

Northern Rail, which runs most local services around South Yorkshire, is introducing 50 additional carriages across its network around the north of England.

A councillor representing Penistone has called for some of the extra coaches to be used on services through the town, between Huddersfield, Barnsley and Sheffield.

Coun Paul Hand-Davis, of Penistone Town Council and Barnsley Council, said trains on the line could vary between one and three carriages.

He said: “One carriage is ridiculous because this is a very popular service and the trains should comprise at least two carriages with possibly three at peak periods to avoid overcrowding.”

Coun Hand-Davis is now raising the matter with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority.

Ian Bevan, Northern’s managing director, did not specify which services the extra carriages would be used on.

But he said: “Overcrowding has been one of the biggest challenges we have faced and one of the biggest causes of complaint for our passengers.

“Thanks to the additional carriages we will be providing 154,000 extra seats a year for the Sheffield area during peak hours.

“We know these extra carriages will not eradicate overcrowding, but will certainly provide significantly improved journeys.”

East Midlands Trains has received extra carriages allowing it to double the size of most of its trains.