Watch: Eight in the toilet as overcrowded train heads to Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 14:12 05 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:27 06 February 2020
A train heading from Cambridge to Ipswich was so crowded that eight people had to stand in one of its toilets after a previous service was cancelled.
Traveller Oscar Hedge filmed the passengers on the 5.47pm train from Cambridge to Ipswich on Tuesday evening and posted this on Twitter. The previous train, at 4.47pm, had been cancelled because of a train fault so the new Stadler bimode train was very full.
People were standing throughout the train as it left Cambridge - and opened the toilet door to give them more room.
Mr Hedge has previously tweeted his frustration at the level of overcrowding on trains between Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge.
He said: "I travel from Bury to Cambridge to go to College. It has been getting better with the new longer trains - but on Tuesday the train I normally catch was cancelled and we had to wait an hour for the next one. That was three carriages instead of the normal four so it was really crowded.
"There were eight in the toilet at one stage. It was better after Newmarket - but there was one woman sitting there with the seat down through to Bury because there was nowhere else to sit!"
His Tweet came on the day that Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill asked for a meeting with ministers to discuss Greater Anglia's performance over the last few months.
She said: "I will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State for Transport regarding the Greater Anglia franchise, as frankly the service they are currently providing is wholly inadequate.
"I have given Greater Anglia numerous opportunities to improve the service after a difficult Christmas period, but have so far received no assurances that we will see any improvements soon."
After hearing about Mr Hedge's problems, Mrs Churchill added: "The images shared on social media by Mr Hedge reinforce my statement that Greater Anglia need to drastically improve the service on both the Ipswich-Cambridge and Ipswich-Peterborough line.
"Passengers now pay on average 2.6% more for a train ticket than last year, the least they should expect is a seat. Crowding people in a toilet is wholly unacceptable.
"I have been led to believe that a fault on an earlier train contributed to the overcrowding on this service. I will yet again ask Greater Anglia why we are seeing so many train faults, and how they intend to rectify these issues.
"I will also ask Greater Anglia and Network Rail to reassess the capacity on this line, as overcrowding on trains to Cambridge seems to have become a common occurrence. We were promised a regular four-carriage hourly service to Cambridge, and I like my constituents expect this promise to be delivered on."
A Greater Anglia spokeswoman said the first train had failed on its way to Cambridge from Ipswich so the return trip was cancelled. However engineers did manage to fix it so it was able to operate the service from Bury St Edmunds to Ipswich, allowing passengers on that part of the line to complete their journeys.
She added: "We apologise for the overcrowding on the 17.47 Cambridge-Ipswich service yesterday. The 16.20 Ipswich to Cambridge service was repaired at Ely after a train fault and therefore the following train was busier than usual.
"We apologise for the inconvenience caused and would encourage those affected by the cancellation to claim delay repay."
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