1. ITV Report

Fury over rail boss saying he will make it 'more comfortable to stand' on trains

Govia Thameslink Railway Chief Executive Charles Horton said he would make it 'more comfortable to stand' Credit: GTR

A rail boss has sparked outrage after claiming that he will make it 'more comfortable to stand' for passengers in rush hour on a new commuter route.

Charles Horton, chief executive of the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) running a new "mega" south east England commuter franchise, said his company will be providing 10,000 more seats in the rush-hour.

But he also said he couldn't promise that commuters would never have to stand.

A new train to run on the Thameslink route

What I can promise is that the trains on Thameslink (Bedford-to-Brighton route) will be more comfortable to stand up in.

They have big 'stand-back' areas so people can stand in more comfort.

– Charles Horton, GTR Chief Executive

He also advised passengers to choose a 'slower service' if getting a seat is more important than the duration of their journey.

His comments in the Evening Standard have sparked a backlash from transport union the RMT, who branded the remarks 'shocking':

This is a shocking admission which will leave commuters rightly up in arms as they are forced to pay some of the highest annual commuter fares on the network to be jammed in like cattle.

At the same time this company are planning to axe guards and other staff to maximise profits.

– Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary