Monday 25 November 2013 8:41 pm

Train with no seats may ease congestion

BRITAIN’S railways could carry more commuters without spending billions on upgrades if trains offered third-class carriages with almost no seats, a report out yesterday claimed. Passengers could pay a fifth less to travel in a “high-density” section that would be modelled on the London Overground carriages, the paper by transport expert David Starkie for the Institute of Economic Affairs argued. Introducing a low-cost option on the railways would bolster capacity in the same way that Ryanair and EasyJet opened up aviation, he said. “Giving people more choice and encouraging more competition could save the taxpayer considerable amounts of money and at the same time offer lower-cost travel options to commuters,” said Richard Wellings of the IEA. While proposals for a third-class option have already been floated in some of the recent rail franchise competitions, the Department for Transport has distanced itself from the idea of lower standards.