A REGULAR commuter has been left a bit bemused by a lack of legroom after trains between Spalding and Peterborough had a major facelift.
Mark Roddis travels from Spalding to Peterborough on East Midlands trains once or twice a week as part of his commute to London, but says the journey has become a lot less comfortable since the recent refit.
He said: “The trains look really smart with their bright red seats, but you can’t even sit straight because the gap between the edge of the seat and the hard plastic of the seat in front is now only about seven or eight inches.
“I’m 5ft 11ins, so not the shortest person in the world, but not the tallest either, but there is no way I can sit with my legs forward.
“I think they must have squeezed an extra row of seats in, but everyone has to sit sideways now and take up two seats, so I’m sure they haven’t gained anything.
“It’s totally bizarre,”
And Mr Roddis claims the new seat layout has made access to the train almost impossible for people with wheelcahirs, or even large suitcases.
He added: “There are posters up everywhere about this refit, but I don’t think anyone from East Midlands Trains can have actually tried sitting down on them.
“I think it was one of those things that looked good on paper but they haven’t really thought it through – it’s just strange.”
But East Midlands Trains have defended the refit, saying feedback suggests the overwhelming majority of passengers are comfortable with the amount of legroom.
A spokesman said: “We are currently investing around £5million to refurbish the trains operating on this route.
“Levels of passenger satisfaction with the comfort of our on-train seating, and the room provided for passengers, is higher that the national UK average.
“In the latest independent passenger survey, 80 per cent of passengers using our local services, which includes the Spalding to Peterborough line, felt there was sufficient room to sit and stand on our services.
“We are confident that we provide a good balance between comfort and the number of seats available.”