Commuters at Stevenage, were who were looking forward to additional seats on their morning train, were shocked to discover their Train Operating Company, First Capital Connect (FCC), had added the additional carriages to the wrong end of the train.
Local Commuter association chairman Dave Wandsworth said, “We are the last main stop before London and the trains are always full when they get here; for years we have campaigned for extra seats from Stevenage”, adding, “we are obviously pleased that FCC has listened to us and added the extra carriages, but they really should have thought it through properly”.
Commuter Charlotte Hemmings told reporters, “I have had to stand for over 20 minutes every morning and I was really looking forward to getting a seat, but as they have added them to the back of the train they are useless for passengers who need to get on at the front”.
Fellow commuter Thomas Barton added, “Don’t they realise that Kings Cross is a terminus and we need to travel in the front carriage to save vital minutes? adding the extra carriages at the back pointless.”
A spokesman for FCC, pointed out that the depot layouts at Peterborough and Cambridge made attaching the rear unit to the front more cost effective. However, following these complaints, he indicated they were prepared to examine the feasibility of attaching the front unit to the rear unit in future. “We doubt it’ll make any difference”, he said, adding, “but we take customer feedback very seriously”.
RMT leader Bob Crow commented that, “Clearly the only answer is re-nationalisation, so we can have joined up thinking on joining up trains”.