SOUTH Essex MPs are demanding change after cuts to train services forced workers to cram into packed trains.

It comes after commuters hit out at c2c train bosses due to the cramped conditions - but bosses say they had no choice after a reduction in demand and rising staff Covid cases.

Sir David Amess MP for Southend West said: “I have been contacted by a number of constituents about the situation, which came as a great surprise to me in terms of how the train operator is interpreting the safety and covid regulations.

“The situation for commuters is unacceptable, not only in terms of the cost that they are paying for their tickets but also in terms of the service given. The changes to the timetable are also unacceptable.

“I shall be raising the matter in Parliament at the earliest opportunity.”

Rebecca Harris MP for Castle Point said: “I’ve had constituents raise this issue with me and while I understand staffing can be an issue, there should be good contingency planning.

“I’m pleased that c2c have told me they are looking into this and I hope they will be able to implement their own suggestion of adding extra carriages, to make travel more Covid secure.”

Monday saw shocking scenes with commuters without breathing space or social distancing but they say yesterday was worse.

One said: “Here you go, day two and it’s worse than day one, everyone now knows the timetable.

“Every train is stopping at Barking and it is more revenue, they don’t care about our welfare.”

Bosses at c2c said: “We are monitoring passenger numbers very closely and will look to make further changes to our timetable when they become possible, but Coronavirus has had a significant impact on our staff availability and that reduces the number of trains we can run.

“We will also provide customers with more advice and guidance to help them identify the best times to travel, as we have been since the start of the pandemic in March.”