Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has been asked to see for himself the extent of rush-hour overcrowding on trains in the Bradford district.

The invitation has come from Metro chairman and Bradford Councillor Chris Greaves who wants Mr Hammond to experience the services which he said are “bursting at the seams”.

Metro, the West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority, is lobbying the Government to provide extra rolling stock.

Passengers have long complained about overcrowding on rush-hour trains on the Airedale, Wharfedale and Caldervale lines with standing room only a common occurrence. Now, a new report predicts that the number of rail passengers to major centres in the region will double in the next 25 years.

The report, which has been prepared by Network Rail, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and the Rail Freight Operators’ Association also found that a growth of up to 115 per cent is expected on some routes.

Coun Greaves said: “This report, along with the recent ATOC report on growing passenger numbers and this week’s Passenger Focus survey results, makes it all the more important he (Mr Hammond) accepts.”

The Passenger Focus survey found that the ability to get a seat is one of the priorities for investment in the rail network and, with news of a predicted increase in rail users, the need for extra train carriages will be more urgent than ever, Coun Greaves added.

James Vasey, chairman of the Bradford Rail Users’ Group, welcomed the invitation to Mr Hammond, although he said the need for extra carriages was not the only problem for transport in the area.

The Caldervale line uses diesel trains which cannot cope with passenger demand and the group has written to the Government supporting Metro’s plans to provide a new station at Low Moor, Bradford.

He said: “I would support inviting the Transport Secretary, so we can give our proposals to him directly.

“It is a good idea as long as he is on a morning service, which are jam-packed.”

Tim Calow, chairman of the Airedale Valley Rail Users’ Group, welcomed the efforts of Coun Greaves on the overcrowding issue.

He said: “It is a big issue which requires substantial investment.

“There are up to 50 people standing in a coach on peak time trains which is not satisfactory and not pleasant.”