Train passengers cram into ‘smelly’ toilet cubicle because of overcrowding

By Alistair Mason, PA

Passengers stood in a train toilet cubicle for an hour because of overcrowding.

Video showed passengers standing in the cubicle on the 5.47pm train from Cambridge to Ipswich, run by Greater Anglia, on Tuesday after the previous service was cancelled.

“It wasn’t nice because I had to stand in the toilet,” 18-year-old Oscar Hedge told the PA news agency. “People were standing in that toilet all the way from Cambridge to Bury.

“People got on at Newmarket and, because we’ve had lots of problems on the line with overcrowding before, a woman got on the train and just went and sat on the toilet casually, almost accepting that’s how the trains are. It wasn’t nice.”

Greater Anglia apologised for the incident, blaming a train fault on a previous service for the overcrowding.

Mr Hedge, who said there were as many as eight other people in the toilet with him at times on the journey, added that the cubicle was “quite smelly”.

The teenager, who was travelling home to Bury St Edmunds from his sixth form college in Cambridge, said the journey which normally takes 40 minutes took around an hour because of further delays.

Christy Morris, who was also on the train, said: “It felt really cramped, you could barely breathe.

“After a long day, everyone’s been at work, everyone’s been at uni, and it’s just so uncomfortable. You spend so much money a year to get a service, and it’s just not on really.”

Despite the overcrowding, onboard screens seemed to suggest there were free seats in every carriage (Christy Morris)

Ms Morris, a 22-year-old student and office worker, said some passengers got off the train rather than endure the conditions on board.

Meanwhile, electronic displays appeared to show in error that there were seats available in all carriages.

“We all laughed about it,” Ms Morris said. “We all thought it was just ridiculous.”

A Greater Anglia spokesman said: “We apologise for the overcrowding on the 17.47 Cambridge-Ipswich service yesterday.

“The 16.20 Ipswich to Cambridge service was terminated at Ely due to a train fault and therefore the following train was busier than usual.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused and would encourage those affected by the cancellation to claim delay repay at www.greateranglia.co.uk/delayrepay”