Great Western Railway has issued a reply to MP Ian Liddell-Grainger’s comments on Taunton station staff.

Earlier this week the MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset said "Taunton station seems to employ the most officious, rude and unhelpful staff on the network.

"It all adds up to a most unpleasant passenger experience - not so much a warm welcome as a cold shoulder, as I am now hearing from so many of my constituents.”

A spokesperson from GWR told the County Gazette: “We are very disappointed to read Mr Liddell-Granger’s comments about his experience at Taunton station and have contacted his office to arrange a meeting at his earliest convenience."

Mr Liddell-Grainger also warned that elderly and vulnerable passengers are now being put at risk as a result of changes carried out to the configuration of the station last year.

GWR said: “We have invested heavily in Taunton, working in partnership with Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Somerset County Council and Somerset West and Taunton Council to deliver a multi-million pound station regeneration project.

Somerset County Gazette: One of the station car parks.One of the station car parks.

“The majority of customers have responded positively to the improvements, which include a new 400-space multi-storey car park, ticket office station entrance and forecourt, with additional bike spaces. Passengers also regularly comment on the friendliness of staff at the station.

“We look forward to meeting with Mr Liddell-Granger and trying to help resolve his complaints.”

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Many Taunton locals also came to the defence of the station staff, with hundreds of people disagreeing with the MP.

Allan John Cavill said: “That statement is so wrong, I have dealt with several of the members of staff over the years and they are nothing but kind and helpful, I feel we are lucky to have them.”

Niki Denning said: “The staff at Taunton Station have always been very helpful and friendly toward me and my kids. This is so wrong!”

Finally, Neil Jacobs added: “My experience of Taunton Station has always been one where the staff have done their absolute utmost to get me the best possible route and ticket for my journey. I have always thought they were the go-to example of excellent customer service.”