Passengers on the South West Train service from Basingstoke to London Waterloo were left in shock after an announcer took to the tannoy to say that fat people should remain standing because of lack of space, the Daily Mail reports.
On the packed commuter service, a member of staff reportedly said: “We are going to be like sardines on this train, so can I ask that only slim people sit on the three-seaters. If you are fat then it is simply not going to work.”
One passenger was left furious by the announcement, saying: “I am not necessarily a big person but most people are larger than those seats anyway. It’s pretty disgusting. I would get fired if I said that at my work.”
The train company apologised, and said that if the comment had been made it was “unacceptable”.
“All passengers are welcome on board our trains and we would find it unacceptable if that comment had been made by one of our employees,” a spokesman said.
“We run some of the busiest trains in the country and we do appreciate that space on some of our trains is limited.
“To provide extra space and seats for our customers, we are in the process of investing £250m in extra carriages and new trains.”
However standing rather than sitting burns three times as many calories.
Last year Conservative MP Anne Milton, a former health minister, sent a series of tweets during an uncomfortable journey into work.
She wrote on the social networking site that overweight commuters should “slim down” if they want to sit on narrow train seats.
“If you are going to sit on one of those seats for three people, you need to take up one third of the seat.
“If your bottom is bigger than a third then you need to reduce its size,” she said.