Anger over new air-conditioned Great Northern trains with fewer seats

Commuters complain about new carriages that have an air-conditioning system but fewer seats

The introduction of new air-conditioned trains onto the Great Northern route by train operator Govia has caused outrage amongst London commuters as the new carriages will have 30 per cent less seating that the current outdated carriages.

Commuters who make the daily run into London using the Great Northern route will enjoy the added benefits of modern carriages, complete with air-conditioning, spacious toilets and a new seating and table arrangement which ditches the old two-by-three seating system in favour of a two-by-two arrangement.

Commuters angry as new air-conditioned trains will have fewer seats

Govia are to replace its outdated trains for the Great Northern route

However, this creates fewer seats on a service which already suffers from overcrowding at peak times.

The new Class 387 has 448 seats for every eight carriages, where as the current outdated Class 317 has 584 seats per eight carriages and the Class 321 has 598 seats per eight carriages; creating a shortage of 136 and 150 seats per service.

The new carriages are to be introduced over the next few years, with the first few being launched into service next month. Commuters will have to suffer uncomfortable (albeit air-conditioned) journeys until sometime in 2017, when Govia will introduce the new Class 700, which seats 666 people.

One regular commuter who travels to London everyday on the 7.18am service from Hertfordshire told the Royston Crow: “I’d rather go without air-conditioning and have a chance of a seat. I stand most days so it’s only going to be worse when they bring the new trains in.”

A spokesperson for Govia said more trains will run during peak and off-peak times between Hitchin and London which will hopefully reduce the impact of fewer available seats.

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