Govia declassifies first class train carriages on peak services

'Dangerous overcrowding' on trains has led Govia to declassify first class carriages during peak tim

'Dangerous overcrowding' on trains has led Govia to declassify first class carriages during peak times. Picture: Iain Murray - Credit: Archant

First class carriages for Govia Thameslink’s Great Northern peak-time services have been declassified from today with hopes that – in the midst of continued cancellations and delays – it will help limit overcrowding.

The overcrowding on the platform at Hitchin railway station. Picture: Aaran Vince

The overcrowding on the platform at Hitchin railway station. Picture: Aaran Vince - Credit: Archant

North East Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt took to Twitter yesterday to confirm that the decision – which affects those travelling on weekdays between 6.30am and 9.30am, and 4pm to 7pm – has been made.

He said: “Delighted that the sensible decision to declassify peak time 1st class carriages on Great Northern services has finally been made.

“I am pleased to have at least achieved this small concession for my constituents struggling through this awful disruption.”

The decision comes after a letter sent to Secretary for Transport Chris Grayling from various MPs, including Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami.

Govia have published details for its interim timetable. Picture: Archant

Govia have published details for its interim timetable. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant


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In the letter, the MPs stated: “The disruption caused by the May 20 timetable changes has let to 30 per cent of services being cancelled in recent weeks. Remaining services can be dangerously overcrowded.

“The weather has only added to the discomfort of passengers and they are unclear about their rights in respect of using first class accommodation. “Declassifying first class would ease overcrowding and serve as a gesture to commuters who have put up with last-minute cancellations and widespread disruption in recent weeks.”

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A spokesman from Govia Thameslink Railway, which operates the Great Northern service, said: “From today, first class will be declassified on all Thameslink and Great Northern services during peak journey times.

“This will continue until the interim timetable is implemented on July 15.

“We appreciate that customers may already hold a Thameslink or Great Northern first class season ticket and they will be able to claim the difference in cost for journeys made where first class was declassified. More information will be provided on our websites shortly.”

For more information about the new timetable, or how to claim compensation for delayed or cancelled services, go to railplan2020.com/timetables.

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