‘Skin dust and God knows what else’ found on Portsmouth train seat

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A PASSENGER says he is disgusted by the state of seats on trains running to and from Portsmouth.

Paul Garrod, 70, from Southsea, believes train companies need to do more to keep train seats clean.

Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

He says that while travelling up to London on Saturday, a simple flick of a seat caused a cloud of dust to float into the air.

Mr Garrod explained: ‘I noticed that the train seats in particular are very dirty a few months back – but at the weekend I discovered the extent of it, practically by mistake.

‘I went to brush some fluff off the seat and this great cloud of dust and dirt came up. I was practically covered in fluff – all from the flick of a finger.

‘I don’t think South Western Railway actually hoovers the seats. The fabric must have years of people’s skin dust and God knows what else.

Paul believes the train seats have years of dirt in them. Picture: Paul Garrod

Paul believes the train seats have years of dirt in them. Picture: Paul Garrod

‘If they did that once a month or so, things might be a bit better.’

Train prices went up by an average of 3.1 per cent this month – which Mr Garrod says means there is no excuse for dirty train seats.

He said: ‘When the prices go up like this, you expect the train companies to at least keep the seats and carriages clean.

‘For people with respiratory issues and for general health this is outrageous – particularly when extortionate fares are considered.

‘The dust here is far from unusual and represents months if not years of zero hoovering.

‘I have an acquaintance who works for South Western Railway as a cleaner and he said he has never seen any staff walk off a depot train with anything other than bin bags.’

A spokesman for South Western Railway said: ‘We are committed to ensuring our trains are as clean and pleasant as possible for our passengers.

‘That’s why, since deep-cleaning every train in the first 100 days of taking over the franchise, we’ve committed to deep-cleaning them every 30 days – seven times more regularly than previously.

‘We are also refurbishing our existing fleet of Class 444 and 450 Desiro trains and Class 442s will be re-introduced to the Portsmouth line from February.’