New seats complaints are no bum rap, says ASLEF

ASLEF leader Mick Whelan has condemned Britain’s privatised train companies for selling passengers short – again – this time with numb bums on new trains.

The train companies have been trumpeting the introduction of new trains on some services, but passengers have complained the new carriages are uncomfortable.

Mick Whelan said: “‘The rolling stock on Britain’s railways is much older now, on average, than when the railways were privatised by John Major more than twenty years ago. We’re going backwards, not forwards.

“We need more investment – and that should come from the train operating companies. Because the truth is that while fares keep going up and up, that’s not to underwrite investment, but to pay dividends to shareholders. The TOCs put up prices to boost profits, not to provide a better service.

“While the few new trains are lighter and airier, the seats are much less comfortable than the old stock they replaced. They leave you with a numb bum – it’s no wonder passengers are complaining. The seats are much too hard – commuters say the train companies think you won’t mind having to stand – and the arm rests too low. And what about the missing tables the companies claim will be ‘retro-fitted’ – when? Passengers justifiably complain they are being forced to travel ‘cattle class’ by companies concerned only with cramming in as many people as possible.”

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