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TRAVELLING on peak-hour trains to Adelaide’s north is too dangerous for children and people with disabilities because of severe overcrowding, commuters and a public transport advocacy group warn.
People for Public Transport wants extra carriages added to Gawler line trains.
Spokeswoman Josephine Buckhorn said overcrowding was getting so bad that people were turning to their cars.
“(It’s) not safe to have (a lot) of people on a train, it puts a lot of pressure on people with accessibility needs that can’t use the services due to overcrowding,” Ms Buckhorn said.
“It’s really about making public transport inclusive for people with disabilities.”
Frustrated commuter Darren Adams saidtrains were usually so full you could not squeeze anyone else on.
“The peak hour trains (to the city) are pretty much full at Elizabeth, then standing room only from Salisbury onwards,” he said.
“Sometimes it results in arguments between passengers and it must be difficult at times for pregnant and elderly people who get on at later stops.”
A crowded peak-hour train on the Gawler line. Picture: Chloe MetcalfeThe Northern Weekly rode the 5.20pm Gawler express service last Wednesday. Commuters getting on in the CBD scrambled to fill the carriages and were forced to stand in the aisles shoulder-to-shoulder.
Regular commuter Ameera Dean said she had noticed trains had been getting packed a lot, which made it harder for her five-month-old son to ride.
Fellow passenger Caitlin McLean, who catches the train regularly for work, said there needed to be more trains scheduled.
“People are just piling into these trains,” she said. “If there was one ten minutes later they wouldn’t need to.”
A Transport Department spokesman said it used the whole diesel fleet in peak periods and would not be able to add more carriages until the Gawler line electrification was completed in 2020.
He said there were no complete records kept of full trains because ticketing systems showed boarding numbers only from individual stations.
But drivers reported 39 full trains between July, 2015, and June, 2017, and only one last month, he said.
Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said northern commuters had suffered for too long.
Salisbury councillor Chad Buchanan said residents complained they could not reach the city before 9am, making them late for work.
This article first appeared on www.adelaidenow.com.au
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