A spokesperson for the London to Shoeburyness rail operator c2c has confirmed that BAG TICKETS will be available from October 1st – the £10 one-off add-on tickets will allow passengers to occupy one extra seat while travelling for either their luggage or just some extra room to stretch out.
The company’s CEO Sir Horace Morris spoke to our Chief Reporter this afternoon about how the decision will give passengers ‘a whole new level of choice.’
He said: ‘Our routine inspections on both peak and off-peak services have shown that there is a real demand for what we describe as ‘second seat allocation’ – this is the technical term in the industry for anyone who wishes to occupy more than one seat while travelling.’
‘As we do not offer a first class carriage, we are delighted to announce that £10 supplementary bag tickets will be available from October 1st. Passengers can buy these from ticket machines, and a few clicks online will get an electronic version added to your smartcard.’
‘When a revenue extraction patroller boards any c2c service, they will be checking to see if any dual-occupation passengers have purchased the extra bag ticket – a spot fine of £50 will apply to any offenders.’
‘The bag tickets will also give passengers who do not wish to stand the guarantee of a seat. Under the Ticketing Operational Sales Scheme that is set out by the Department of Transport, any supplementary tickets of this nature give the holder seat priority over all passengers that do not have a specific need to be seated – this includes the disabled, the elderly and women who are pregnant.’
We asked Mr Morris how the extra ticket holders could ask someone to vacate their seat on a crowded train.
He said: ‘In the event that a non-bag ticket holder will not give up their seat and the one next to them, they should seek the nearest train assistant who will be able to ensure that the bag ticket holder has access to the seat that they have paid extra for, along with the one next to them.’
In another development, Sir Horace also announced that the new timetable will come into effect from January 1st 2017. He confirmed that all trains with stop at EITHER Upminster or Barking – no services will call at both stations to eliminate so-called ‘one stop hoppers.’