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Rail bosses believe crowding levels have 'improved' thanks to new c2c timetable

PUBLISHED: 16:45 23 May 2016 | UPDATED: 16:53 23 May 2016

Passengers waiting for a c2c train at Upminster station. Photo: PA Wire/Nick Ansell

Passengers waiting for a c2c train at Upminster station. Photo: PA Wire/Nick Ansell

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Morning commuters using c2c services claim their journeys remain "manic".

This is despite the introduction of a revised timetable which aimed to address overcrowding concerns of passengers.

c2c users believe rail bosses have “papered over the cracks” with the new timetable making no real difference to their travels.

Today, scores of passengers lining Upminster station criticised the rail operator for “poor communication” as a train fault caused peak-time delays.

Elaine Murray, of Station Road, Upminster, said: “Not much has changed. The problem is a lack of carriages and until the new ones are introduced then I expect my mornings to still be manic and stressful.”

In an attempt to relieve the pressure on users, c2c managing director Julian Drury announced the company are set to bring in 24 new carriages later this year.

Along with the new trains, a number of changes to the timetable were made from May 15.

The latest timetable looks to combine some evening services to provide longer trains and reduce the number of four-carriage services at peak times.

The previous timetable which was introduced last year in December was lambasted by commuters with many taking to social media on a daily basis to complain of overcrowding, increased journey times and poor communication.

The new timetable has been labelled as the “first stage in a package of improvements” to address problems of overcrowding.

However, commuters in Rainham feel like they have been “left out” by c2c.

Iain Henderson, who travels to Fenchurch Street from Rainham every morning, says some services are worse than others.

He said: “The 8.04am service is particularly bad, it’s a four-carriage train so it’s always rammed by the time it reaches here.

“I still cannot understand why you would not accommodate more carriages at such a busy time.

“This new timetable is simply papering over the cracks.”

The timetable introduced last Sunday is temporary with a further change expected in December once new carriages are put in place.

c2c believe the extra capacity and flexibility will provide an extra 1,500 seats.

A spokesman for c2c said: “It is very early stages but the signs from the first few days are that the crowding levels on the busiest trains, which were designed to benefit from these latest changes, have improved.”

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