RAIL commuters from Hereford are suffering from fewer carriages on the route to Birmingham and feel safety is being compromised because of overcrowding.

The daily commute is 'undoubtedly worse' since West Midlands Railway, the company which operates trains on the line through Ledbury, Malvern and Worcester, overhauled their timetables in an attempt to improve services.

Heather Cooke gets the first train from Hereford to Birmingham New Street in the morning to get to work, but it's when she returns during the evening rush hour that are causing her to be "more irritable and stressed".

She said: "The commute on an evening this week has been undoubtedly worse compared to pre timetable changed.

"Ironically, the timetable itself has had limited changes, however, the carriages have been downgraded. There's no air con, limited luggage racks, narrower aisles and the number of carriages reduced by a third.

"This means more people cramped into a smaller space. Some on train conductors are more sympathetic than others. Some urge you to contact the company and complain.

"Last night's didn't even apologise, just kept telling people getting on the train there is no room, including one man in a wheelchair.

"My family have noticed I am much more irritable and stressed when I arrive back home this week.

"This is having an impact on my work-life balance and quality family time.

"Fortunately, I take the first train in the morning which is always quiet so minimal impact during the day."

The timetable changes have seen rush hour services from Birmingham are being run with fewer and older carriages as the newer carriages are needed for services elsewhere.

A spokesman for West Midlands Trains said new rolling stock will be introduced from 2021, and the company is taking passenger feedback into account.

The company said: "With the introduction of our new timetables, we have had to reallocate carriages across our network. This has resulted in changes to the formation of some services.

"Overall, we have increased the number of carriages across our network, which includes the introduction of a refurbished two-carriage train from London Overground to the Worcester lines.

"However, as part of implementing the biggest timetable change in 10 years, some services are now operating with fewer carriages, to allow for extra services or where trains are operating with more carriages."

Other annoyed commuters have said they feel their safety is sometimes compromised.

Lou Atkinson said on Facebook: "I caught the 15.50 train from Birmingham to Hereford on Tuesday, two carriages.

"The doors were open from about 14.20 and within 15 minutes it was just about full, on leaving it was standing only.

"Having left the next stop at Birmingham University the train was totally overcrowded, compromising people's safety.

"During the journey the train driver apologised for the overcrowding and said there will only be two carriages until December."