19th December 2018
Greater Anglia have announced there will be more standard class seats on their trains from 2nd January 2020 as they abolish first class on all services other than Intercity trains.
With the Greater Anglia fleet due to be replaced - starting in 2019 - and many of the new trains will have no first class seating. Only the new intercity trains, which run between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester and London, will have first class accomodation. All other trains on commuter and regional routes will have standard class seating only.
This move has followed extensive research by Greater Anglia and it found that customer priorities are to have a safe, reliable and punctual service along with a seat. Passengers numbers are expected to continue to grow on the network and this solution provides an ideal opportunity to increase capacity to meet this growth.
Any existing trains on commuter and regional routes that are still operating after 2nd January 2020 will see the first class area declassifed. Greater Anglia has written to all first class season ticket holders to advise them of this change and give them sufficient notice.
Martin Moran, Greater Anglia Commercial and Customer Services director said:
“With the combination of withdrawing first class and our new longer trains, we can provide about 20 per cent more standard seats across our network, which will reduce overcrowding and improve our customers’ experience of travelling with us. We’re committed to transforming rail services for our customers with the introduction of our new trains. By only retaining First Class seating on our new intercity trains, we can offer a much better service, provide many more seats and reduce over-crowding on our suburban and Stansted Express services in and out of London, delivering a far better service for thousands of passengers."
“By 2 January 2020, the phasing in of our new trains will be well underway, so it is a sensible time to withdraw First Class from our suburban services. After listening to customer feedback, assessing the ongoing increases in passenger numbers and taking account the rail network capacity, we’re taking this step to give the majority of our customers a much-improved service and advising everyone well in advance of the date from which the new policy will apply. Our new trains will also offer a higher quality travelling environment, making rail an excellent option right across our network.”
Author: Darren Porter
Image: Greater Anglia