Since the December timetable change the 08.16 departure from Yate has been diagrammed to be operated as a 3-coach train. On occasions this third coach may be 'pinched' by the operators Control Room to cover for another service due to a train fault or itself may be prone to a train fault.
The FGW station manager for Yate has stated that since the new timetable has been in force the third carriage has alleviated some of the overcrowing on this service.
Concern has also been expressed of the overcrowding for commuters returning to Yate on late afternoon / early evening services.
The FGW station manager stated that there is nothing to be done to help in this matter at present as FGW have just not got enough rolling stock to go around as the amount of rolling stock available to FGW is specified in the franchise agreement. FGW are already leasing MORE than the franchise requirement decreed by the Department for Transport.
The FGW station manager did state that FGW were due to receive a number of new build 4-car class 172 units to be utilised on the Cardiff to Portsmouth route which would release the 3-car 158's currently used on this route to be cascaded to other services and thus alleviate some of the overcrowding on other services including those serving Yate.
It is understood that these new build units have been put on hold as a result of the recently announced electrification of the Great Western Main Line.