COMMUTER backlash against the new c2c timetable was greater than expected, the company’s managing director has admitted.

The company has already implemented significant changes to their new timetable, which came into effect on Sunday, after rush-hour overcrowding on the line and a barrage of complaints from irate commuters.

Julian Drury, managing director, admitted that they did not get it right – but that they were never going to.

He said: “Monday was pretty horrible in lots of respects for us and not great for our customers either.

“Everybody turned up for the times they wanted to and there weren’t necessarily trains there so they got on what they could and we had all sorts of strange loadings.

“Over the course of this week people have experimented with what is the right train for them and on Wednesday I spent the morning at Upminster station and saw people moving on the platform to find the carriages where they could get a seat.”

Long-distance commuters from the Southend area complained of ‘one-stop-hoppers’ getting on at Barking, only to get off at West Ham rather than using the District Line underground service.

The rail operator made changes to Thursday’s trains, removing Barking stops from some morning trains, and West Ham stops from some evening services.

Mr Drury added: “The strength of feeling has taken us aback.

“We were not expecting it and it is hurtful to us, we do not like it and I hate the thought that we are upsetting customers.

“I accept that we have seen more people than we expected crossing over from the District Line to c2c.

“That is something that we have tried to correct with removing the Barking and West Ham stops on some trains.

“I knew that it would be more than just tinkering, there was no possibility that we could have got it right in one go.”

Mr Drury added that, even though punctuality statistics were returning to their norm, in the high 90 per cent range, c2c would continue to monitor train loadings and make adjustments where needed.