Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, has today launched a petition which calls on First Great Western to declassify First Class carriages on its trains, during the busiest periods.
Alok is also calling on the Train Operating Company to publish data on the number of times it declassifies trains on a daily basis.
The wording of the petition, which can be signed online, reads:
“We the undersigned call on First Great Western to declassify First Class carriages on overcrowded trains between Reading and London Paddington and to publish data on how many trains are declassified each day.”
Alok has previously held a Parliamentary debate on rail ticketing and overcrowding and has lobbied ministers on this issue on behalf of constituents and campaigned for a reduction in the number of First Class carriages. He was therefore delighted when the Department for Transport announced in March 2014 that it was providing funding to increase the number of standard class seats on all First Great Western trains by summer 2015.
Alok Sharma said: “There is nothing more frustrating for my commuting constituents than standing in standard class, packed in like sardines, when there are dozens of empty seats in First Class carriages. I welcome the plans to increase the number of Standard Class seats next year, but FGW needs to take action sooner and they can do that by declassifying overcrowded trains now.”
Alok continued: “I know that commuters also find it baffling, as I do, that First Great Western appear unable to provide data on the number of times they declassify trains. As a company providing a public service, we have a right to know how it is meeting the needs of passengers.”
Sign the petition online by visiting: www.aloksharma.co.uk/trains-petition