05/07/2012 07:36 BST

Overcrowding On London Trains Increases To 4%... Before Olympics Even Start

Overcrowding on rush-hour trains in London and south east England is getting worse, official figures showed on Thursday.

Normal passenger capacity on peak-time trains to and from London was exceeded by 3.2% in 2011, compared with 3.0% in 2010, the Department for Transport statistics showed.

The 2011 figure for the weekday London-arriving morning peak (7am to 10am) commuter services was 4% in excess of capacity last year - the same as in 2010.

But excess capacity for the London-departing evening peak (4pm to 7pm) rose from 1.9% in 2010 to 2.3% last year - pushing the both-peak average up to 3.2%.

The figures were based on a typical autumn weekday in 2011 on London and south east England train operators' services.

On this basis, the statistics also showed:

  • 532,000 arrived into central London by rail during the morning peak and 443,000 left in the evening peak;
  • Outside London, Birmingham had the highest number of passengers travelling during the peaks, with 36,000 morning arrivals and 40,000 evening departures;
  • First Great Western had the highest level of passengers in excess of capacity of any London and south east operator with 10.5% across both peaks, although this was a fall from 16.6% in 2010;
  • Birmingham had the highest crowding outside London in the morning peak in 2011, with 3.1% of passengers in excess of capacity;
  • Manchester had the highest crowding in the evening peak with 2.5% of passengers in excess of capacity.

The figures also come as Transport for London rolled out special Olympics travel announcements recorded by the Mayor, Boris Johnson.

Whether these new announcements improve commuters' journeys or not is up for debate. The announcements have received mixed reaction on Twitter. Scroll through our slideshow below to see some of the reaction.