A train operator has been condemned for banning Midland passengers from using cheap fares during peak hours.

First Great Western has announced travellers can no longer use cheap day tickets and one-day travel cards at peak evening times, a decision described by Worcester MP Mike Foster as scandalous.

Mr Foster argues this hits passengers using the line to travel from the Midlands to London, who tend to take day trips using cheap fares.

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However, it creates more space on trains for commuters living closer to London who are more likely to use season tickets, he said.

The MP has written to Alison Forster, managing director of First Great Western expressing his anger at the decision, and urged her to change the operator's policy.

He also raised the issue privately with Ministers at the Department of Transport.

First Great Western runs trains from Hereford through Worcestershire, stopping at Worcester, Pershore and Evesham, through Oxford, Reading and Slough and finishing at London Paddington.

Mr Foster said: "It will mean my constituents who visit London, having only a half day visit to catch the 16:18 train or having to wait until 19:18 and arrive back in Worcester at 9.30 at night."

A spokesman for the train company said: "We're bringing our services in line with other operators where discounted tickets are not permitted on peak hour services.

"This is because we are trying to encourage leisure travellers to use off-peak services as this helps to reduce overcrowding on the busiest trains."