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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 09:38 GMT
Timetable means trains 'too full'
Rail passengers travelling to and from Somerset have complained a new timetable has them packed like sardines into fewer carriages in peak hours.

On Sunday First Great Western began its new times for services between Bristol, Weston-super-Mare and Taunton.

On Monday a man fainted on a packed train near Bath, and on Tuesday people were not being allowed on to the train at Bradford-on-Avon.

A spokesman for FGW admitted some services have been "extremely full".

I spent the journey standing on one leg as there wasn't anywhere to put the other one
Communter, Titus Jennings

Theresa Hopkins, a regular commuter from Frome said: "It was worse than crowded and just outside Bath a man just flopped down.

"He was in the middle of a load of people and just fell - it was scary."

Ms Hopkins, an annual ticket holder said she was thinking seriously about buying a car in order to get to work on time.

"It's appalling to reduce the number of seats - just because we're a captive audience they just treat us like cattle," said Ms Hopkins.

Another regular passenger on trains from Oldfield Park to Temple Meads, Titus Jennings, said the trains were always busy during peak hours but since the new timetable had been introduced it was "like the black hole of Calcutta".

Services reviewed

"I spent the journey standing on one leg as there wasn't anywhere to put the other one," he said.

Andrew Griffiths, the regional manager of First Great Western trains apologised and said he would be reviewing the number of carriages on the services affected.

"We can't put on extra (trains) we can only shuffle round what we've got and we have to be careful not to rob Peter to pay Paul," he said.

He added the number of trains should increase soon when those undergoing maintenance were back in action.


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