Commuter’s anger at being kicked off train for sitting in first class

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A man says he was left feeling ‘humiliated’ after being escorted off a train by police when he refused to leave the first class section.

Edward White, 26, said there were no seats or safe standing space in the standard area but he discovered there were only four people in the first class section.

He refused to return to the standard section when asked by the conductor so police met him at Birmingham New Street for potential fare evasion.

Regular train passenger Edward White who was met by Transport Police as he got off the train at Birmingham New Street after refusing to leave 1st class because the rest of the train was packed.

Edward White is angry that he was escorted from first class by police after ignoring the conductor (Picture: BPM)

Edward said: ‘I have never been in any trouble with law enforcement and can honestly say I have never been so utterly humiliated as to have been escorted off the train, by a train manager who was openly smirking, and the two police officers.’

He pays £142 for a monthly pass but was told that he would have to pay the £16 single first class charge for his journey from Tamworth.

Things got worse for Edward when he was told he couldn’t deduct the price of a standard fare from the first class charge.

He said: ‘I was mortified. The embarrassment of being questioned by police officers for something so trivial was ridiculous. It was made all the worse by the conduct of the train manager.

‘They were quite abrasive. I politely said to the train manager that I felt it was unsafe in the crowded standard area, that I had a valid standard ticket and wanted to use one of the vacant seats.

Regular train passenger Edward White who was met by Transport Police as he got off the train at Birmingham New Street after refusing to leave 1st class because the rest of the train was packed.

Edward said that staff were ‘abrasive’ after he refused to move from first class despite not having a ticket (Picture: BPM)

‘The train manager then entered the secure area at the front of the carriage for the remainder of the journey to Birmingham New Street.

‘I’d like CrossCountry staff to put themselves in the shoes of commuters, who see the price of annual tickets increased every year, only to face constant delays and overcrowded services.

‘There needs to be more consistency among their staff in assuring their customers can travel in a safe and comfortable environment.

‘CrossCountry should also review what it feels constitutes contacting emergency services, as in this instance it was wholly unnecessary.’

Edward said he and other passengers had previously sat in first class when all other seats were taken and had never experienced any problems.

A spokesman for rail firm CrossCountry said: ‘Crowding can occur on trains at the busiest times and, although this can feel uncomfortable, the trains remain safe.

‘However, even if a train is busy, unless the staff on board give permission then customers holding standard tickets are not allowed to sit in the first class area without paying the first class fare.’

Police said it was a civil matter and was dealt with by the rail firm.

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