Extra train seats to ease commuter squeeze

Hundreds of extra train seats are promised from Comet country stations from next month in a move to ease to commuter crowding.

First Capital Connect will lengthen four peak hour services a day on the Great Northern route – taking them from eight to 12 carriages.

The company said this will provide between 250 and 1,000 more commuter seats a day on services from Peterborough to London, which include Hitchin and Stevenage.

Off-peak capacity across the network to Cambridge and Peterborough will also be increased by 2,400 seats on weekdays, with 900 more promised on Saturday services to Cambridge and 1,400 extra on Sundays to both cities.

“Significant engineering work” by Network Rail will affect this Sunday figure however, an FCC spokesman said.

Neal Lawson, FCC managing director, said: “With new longer platforms at Sandy, Biggleswade, Arlesey and Finsbury Park we can now lengthen more Peterborough trains to 12 carriageways which allows us to target capacity where it is most needed, in particular at Hitchin and Stevenage.”

The new timetable takes effect from December 9.