"Flea Infested" Train Seats Costing £30m to Clean

By Gary Cutlack on at

The Abellio Greater Anglia rail franchise is facing a massive cleaning bill, after numerous complaints, including those of flea infested seats, have hit the network.

The rail network is hiring 40 extra cleaners to give it carriages a substantial spring clean, after hygiene conditions on some of its lines were described by campaigners as "appalling."

The web site Greater Anglia Complaints has been doing a fine job of keeping track of the decaying state of the franchise's rolling stock, keeping a log of particularly grim photos taken by commuters. The shots include images of flea bites on arms and legs, which travellers say they suffered while on the trains, plus masses of images of rubbish heaped up inside carriages left uncleaned from previous trips.

Abellio says it's not been made aware of the flea photos, but, funnily enough, is spending an extra £30 million on cleaning -- despite the fact that its franchise is up for renewal next year, with the company saying: "We are investing over £30m in the current short franchise to improve our train fleet, customer service and train performance and cleanliness across our network. As part of this investment, we have recently recruited 40 extra cleaners to bring our total complement of train presentation staff to 300 across our company. We have increased the frequency of deep cleans and undertaken more extensive cleaning on trains throughout the day." [Standard]

Image credit: Liverpool Street Station from Shutterstock