Train firms could be forced to reduce first class seats on busy commuter lines to ease overcrowding, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said.
He said people will see “less first class in the future” with busy suburban trains having “one class” instead.
Mr Grayling suggested operators may be forced to scrap first class areas when franchises are awarded in the future. Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, said it would work to increase seat numbers on key lines.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Mr Grayling said he was “absolutely” committed to scrapping first class carriages on shorter, commuter routes, at busy times of the day, and wanted train operators to take action if passengers demanded it.
He told the paper, “I absolutely understand what a total pain it is if you are standing on a train for 20 to 30 minutes on the way to work. I don’t really see a case for a non-long distance journey for there to be any division between first and second class. There should just be one class on the train.
“People will see less first class in the future as we start to say that on busy suburban trains you can’t start segregating.”
The Department for Transport issues contracts to run rail franchises in England, and can include conditions such as whether first class seating should be provided.
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