Sir George Young, MP for North West Hampshire, today joined campaign group Transport 2000’s Sardine Man and actress Jenny Agutter in calling on the Government to tackle rail overcrowding and improve and expand services for passengers through its upcoming 30-year rail strategy. With over a billion people taking train journeys every year, rail overcrowding has become the number 1 passenger concern. Government figures forecast a 30% growth in rail passenger miles by 2016.
Sir George with Jenny Agutter
Sir George said: “If we are to meet our international obligations on climate change, we need to put rail at the heart of a green transport strategy. This Government needs to do more to tackle overcrowding on the railways. It needs to make decisions on capacity enhancing projects quickly to avoid people turning away from the railways. People getting on at Andover in the rush hour often have to stand; we need more frequent trains with additional capacity - and more car parking space at all stations."
Jenny Agutter, Transport 2000’s patron, is encouraging other MPs to follow the lead of Sir George. “Rail use by passengers and for freight is having a real renaissance and is at its highest level since the 1950s, and still rising. This is great news – but the rail network and number of services has not expanded to keep up with demand. The Government will be issuing a rail strategy this summer which must place growing the railways at its heart. “
Notes to Editors
Photos available. A photograph of Rt. Hon Sir George Young with Sardine Man and Jenny Agutter outside the Houses of Parliament is available online: www.flickr.com/photos/transport2000
 Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.
 Sardine Man has been travelling around the country on Britain’s most overcrowded trains, talking to passengers and asking them to email their MP to put pressure on the Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Douglas Alexander, to expand rail services and reduce overcrowding. People around the country have been supporting Sardine Man’s efforts, sending hundreds of letters to MPs through the Sardine Man website: www.sardineman.org.uk.
 Network Rail’s Initial Strategic Business Plan 2006