A PETITION has been launched to declassify first class train carriages during busy periods.

Reading West MP Alok Sharma has launched the online petition asking for First Great Western to allow all commuters to use first class carriages during peak travel times.

He would also like the amount of trains which are declassified each day to be published.

The petition reads: “We the undersigned call on First Great Western to declassify First Class carriages on overcrowded trains between Reading and London Paddington and to publish data on how many trains are declassified each day.” Mr Sharma was delighted when the Department for Transport announced earlier this year it was providing funding to increase the number of standard class seats on all FGW trains by next summer, but believes more can be done. He said: “There is nothing more frustrating for my commuting constituents than standing in standard class, packed in like sardines, when there are dozens of empty seats in First Class carriages.

“I welcome the plans to increase the number of Standard Class seats next year, but FGW needs to take action sooner and they can do that by declassifying overcrowded trains now.” “I know that commuters also find it baffling, as I do, that First Great Western appear unable to provide data on the number of times they declassify trains. As a company providing a public service, we have a right to know how it is meeting the needs of passengers.” To sign the petition go online to www.aloksharma.co.uk/trains-petition