It is unfair to accuse South Central of putting passengers before profit by providing seats too small for the average adult in its new trains.

The problem is the fault of those responsible for designing the Electrostar train, particularly with regard to the position and width of the doorways.

The designers just didn't do their homework, which is why, for instance, the new trains are eight inches narrower than the slam-door stock.

A quarter of the length of the carriages is wasted space because they were designed to carry city commuters short distances in crush conditions and when standing for 15 minutes or so is considered acceptable.

They are completely unsuitable for longer distance services.

If anyone is to blame, the main culprits are the media and politicians for stirring up hysteria about the alleged dangers of slam-door trains.

John Prescott and government officials gave in to this hysteria and insisted on the rushed and premature scrapping of the rolling stock.

South Central should not have agreed to have the new trains ordered by Connex and the Strategic Rail Authority should have recognised this type of train was unsuitable for South Coast services.

A small investment in refurbishing the existing trains could have given us far better travelling conditions at about a tenth of the cost.

The billion pounds saved could then have been spent on genuine improvements like reopening some of the lines closed 40 years ago.

-Henry Law, Brighton