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Bristol MP welcomes FGW plans to tackle overcrowding

First Great Western have started to rip out seats from first class carriages to try and tackle problems of overcrowding on services between Bristol and London.

The busy commuter line suffers badly with overcrowding. The company are now converting the carriages to standard class.

Labour MP Kerry McCarthy, who represents Bristol East, has been putting pressure on First Great Western to rectify the problem. She's released the statement below.

Passengers using this line have been desperate to see efforts to tackle overcrowding.

I regularly see Standard Class Passengers who have paid for a seat forced to stand or sit on the floor by the toilets, while first class carriages remain empty. This makes absolutely no sense, people that pay for a seat should not be expected to stand.

I have made this point to First on a number of occasions and also raised the issue of over/capacity with Ministers. I’m pleased that First has announced these steps today and I look forward to more detail which outlines just how many commuters this will help.

– Kerry McCarthy, MP - Bristol East

First class carriages to be converted to ease overcrowding

Work has started to rip out thousands of first class seats on the region's busiest trains in a radical move to ease overcrowding.

The carriages on Great Western trains will be converted for use by standard class passengers. The thirteen million pound scheme will see around 3,000 extra places for standard class passengers to sit.

The work has just started and will be complete next summer with more than 50 trains being converted.

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West Country trains come bottom

A survey of rail companies has found less than half of people travelling in the West Country are satisfied with the service they get.

The findings by Which? put South West Trains and First Great Western almost bottom of the list of train companies in the entire country.

55% of commuters said they were dissatisfied with the service they received.

Alex Neill is Head of Campaigns at Which?...

Disruption to West Country train services

There's major disruption on the trains this morning between Bridgwater and Taunton, and Taunton and Plymouth/Penzance.

Meanwhile, trains from the West Country into London are also subject to delays.

First Great Western said it would only be able to run four trains an hour between Reading and London Paddington because of flooding near Maidenhead.

South West Trains is operating a heavily-curtailed service.

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Train cleaners strike again

Cleaners on First Great Western trains are on strike for a fourth time today.

Members of the RMT Union are calling for the action in a row over pay and the use zero hour contracts by sub-contractor Mitie.

The cleaners first went on strike in October.

Members of RMT Union on strike Credit: ITV News West Country

Train cleaners on strike

Cleaners on First Great Western trains are striking for a third time today.

They'll be protesting outside First Great Western's headquarters in Swindon. The cleaners are taking the action in a row over pay and the use of zero hour contracts by sub-contractor Mitie.

Striking cleaners Credit: ITV News West Country

FGW train cleaners walk out

Cleaners on First Great Western trains will be taking part in a 24 hour strike today.

The industrial action is being taken following a row over the use of zero hour contracts by sub-contractor Mitie.

It's the second time cleaners have gone on strike this month.

Striking cleaners Credit: ITV News West Country

Train delays

There are delays of up to 45 minutes on First Great Western trains running between Swindon and Cheltenham Spa and between Bristol Temple Meads and Gloucester this afternoon.

Emergency services have been dealing with an incident at Gloucester involving a freight train. This is a separate train to the one which derailed on Tuesday evening.

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