End of the line for First Class on West Anglia services

Thursday, 9 December 2021

Greater Anglia will no longer sell First Class tickets on its West Anglia routes between Cambridge and London Liverpool Street from later this month.

New train at station platform

The move comes as increasing numbers of services on the routes are operated by Greater Anglia’s new state-of-the-art trains which have been built without dedicated First Class seating areas.

Over the coming year even more new trains will replace the company’s existing old trains on routes to London Liverpool Street from Cambridge, Bishops Stortford, the Lea Valley line, Hertford East and between Meridian Water and Stratford.

Both Greater Anglia’s Stansted Express services between London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport and its Norwich/Cambridge to Stansted Airport services are already operated exclusively by brand new trains, offering high quality standard seating only.

First Class seating on Greater Anglia’s old trains on the West Anglia routes will be declassified from Sunday 12 December and First Class tickets will no longer be sold for these services.

Any customer with a First Class season ticket on one of the affected routes can change it over to a Standard Class ticket without penalty or apply for a pro rata refund.

Anyone who has purchased a First Class ticket for travel on or after Sunday 12 December on one of the affected routes is entitled to a full refund of the difference between the First Class fare and the equivalent Standard Class ticket without an administration fee.

Martin Moran, Greater Anglia commercial, customer service and train presentation director, said: “Our new trains give everybody a first class experience and we are excited to be rolling out more of them across Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, West Essex and east London.

“When we ordered our new trains, in 2016, customers told us one of their top priorities was to get a seat, so we designed the new trains to have more seats. By not including First Class seating areas, we were able to fit in more seats for everyone."

All the company’s new trains are longer with more seats, plug and USB sockets, fast free wifi, air conditioning and better passenger information screens.

They also have much better facilities for disabled customers, including wheelchair areas with seating for non-wheelchair users too so families and friends can travel together and accessible toilets on every train.

There are also dedicated bike spaces too on each train – look out for a blue strip with a bike icon on the outside of the train to see where to board with your full size bike. Please remember restrictions apply on taking full size bikes on Greater Anglia trains during the rush hour – check the website for details.

The new trains also have many more environmental features including regenerative braking which puts electricity back into the network during braking and lighter, more aerodynamic chassis which make trains more energy efficient.

The only route on the Greater Anglia network where First Class seating and tickets will continue to be available is the intercity route between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester and London Liverpool Street, where services are operated by brand new intercity trains, built with two carriages of high quality First Class accommodation.