THEO STEEL considers how urban densification has fuelled the rise in rail journeys

London Overground: a Class 378 crosses Cremorne Viaduct, Battersea, while on a Clapham Junction to Stratford working on 14 December 2018. Ken Brunt

The number of rail journeys taken in the UK doubled between 1995 and 2015. What were the causal factors? The recent Independent Transport Commission report on ‘Wider factors affecting the long term growth in rail travel’ stresses the effect that increasing urban density and shifting workplaces near to stations has had on rail travel. There is no doubt that this is a factor, as can be seen in the statistics in Table 1 for a selection of stations where there has been considerable growth of shopping, work or living facilities. I have written this article to show that while densification is important, there are other factors involved.

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