FIRST class seats will be removed from trains run by Greater Anglia from 2020.

The train operator has announced only new intercity trains – which will run between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester and London - will have the seating.

As of January 2, 2020, all other trains on commuter and regional routes will have standard class seating only.

The move comes as Greater Anglia is set to replace its fleet with brand new state-of-the-art longer trains from the middle of next year.

Martin Moran, Greater Anglia commercial and customer services director said: “With the combination of withdrawing first class and our new longer trains, we can provide about 20 per cent more standard seats across our network, which will reduce overcrowding and improve our customers’ experience of travelling with us.”

The announcement has been made now to help annual ticket holders plan for 2020.

The company has written to all first class annual season ticket holders to inform them about the new policy, with details of how to swap a first class ticket for a standard ticket near the time.

Services where only standard seating will be available from January 2020 will be Clacton to London, suburban services from Manningtree/Colchester to London, Braintree/Witham to London and Stansted Airport to London.

Where intercity services stop at these stations first class may still be offered.

Mr Moran, added: “We’re committed to transforming rail services for our customers with the introduction of our new trains.

“By only retaining first class seating on our new intercity trains, we can offer a much better service, provide many more seats and reduce over-crowding on our suburban and Stansted Express services in and out of London, delivering a far better service for thousands of passengers.

“By January 2020, the phasing in of our new trains will be well underway, so it is a sensible time to withdraw first class from our suburban services.

“After listening to customer feedback, assessing the ongoing increases in passenger numbers and taking account the rail network capacity, we’re taking this step to give the majority of our customers a much-improved service and advising everyone well in advance of the date from which the new policy will apply.

“Our new trains will also offer a higher quality travelling environment, making rail an excellent option right across our network.”