Rail franchises operators & contracts

19.12.18

Greater Anglia to ditch First Class travel from 2020

Greater Anglia is to scrap First Class travel on most of its services from January 2020 in order to create more room for Standard Class passengers.

The train operator will also be bringing in new and longer trains from the end of next year, designed following feedback from customers and stakeholders – with the two initiatives together providing 20% more standard seats.

From 2020, only the new intercity trains which run between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester and London will have First Class seating, with all other commuter and regional routes having only Standard Class seating.

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% more standard seats across our network, which will reduce overcrowding and improve our customers’ experience of travelling with us.”

The company has written to all First Class annual season ticket-holders to inform them of the new policy, with details of how to swap a First Class ticket for a standard ticket.

First Class accommodation will be “declassified” on existing trains from 2 January 2020.

Moran added: “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.

Image credit - Nick Ansell/PA Wire/PA Images

 

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