Commuters: "Greater Anglia investment just tinkering around edges"

Wickford Councillor Michael Mowe who welcomed the investment but feels Greater Anglia bosses must listen to what people want. Pic: Paul Watson

Wickford Councillor Michael Mowe who welcomed the investment but feels Greater Anglia bosses must listen to what people want. Pic: Paul Watson

First published in Echo News by

PASSENGERS in Essex have labelled the decision to keep Greater Anglia in charge “controversial”.

Many believe the £20million investment earmarked by the company will not go far enough to improve the train carriages and service.

Derek Monnery, chairman of the Essex Rail Users Federation, believes passengers are not getting value for money.

Mr Monnery said: “From what I can make out is they are going to bring in what they call “refreshed” trains, but we need something a lot better than that.

“Over the last five years fares for commuters on the line have gone up in real terms by 25 per cent but we have received absolutely nothing back.

“We are not even getting free Wi-fi on the trains which is something that is even becoming standard in services in the Scottish Highlands, so what this deal proposes is still giving us virtually nothing.”

Southend Rail Travellers Association chairman Peter Slattery feels rail bosses are only looking at quick fixes when longer term solutions are needed.

Mr Slattery said: “From what I hear from commuters locally who use Greater Anglia services, the trains are not well kept and this is extension is a bit controversial.

“The trains are pretty grotty and any investment should be welcomed, but another temporary fix is not the right answer.

“Whoever takes on the franchise in the long term after 2016 will have a big job on their hands as £20million will not be enough to sort the current issues.”

However, Michael Mowe who is a member of Basildon Council’s Rail Forum feels it is good the franchise will stay with Greater Anglia.

“I don’t think Greater Anglia have been too bad,” the ward councillor for Wickford North added.

“A lot of the delays are often down to weather or Network Rail so Greater Anglia cannot be blamed and I think continuity is good for the franchise as it will bring in more investment.

“I think what they do need to do is listen to local people about what they want with the service as I and others round here would like to see improvements made to Wickford station.”

****

MAJOR points within the £20million investment planned by Greater Anglia over the next two years as part of the franchise extension include:

 

• Improvements to power points, carpets, seat covers, lighting, toilets and painting in 119 carriages.


• Introduction of online compensation arrangements for season ticket holders during the franchise period.


• 1,600 extra seats on weekdays on intercity services created by converting seven onboard catering areas into seating.


• Installation of more than 400 bicycle parking spaces at stations.


• New toilets which will stop waste being flushed onto tracks.


• Continued commitment to working with the Government and Norwich in 90 Taskforce to get faster trains along the line.


• More schemes to improve train performance and reliability.


• A new heavy cleaning programme for trains and stations.


• Improvements to passenger accessibility on refurbished carriages.


• Extension of the company's employee customer service training programme.

Comments (7)

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7:15am Fri 18 Apr 14

CarnMountification says...

Like it or lump it, those commuters always have a choice....
Like it or lump it, those commuters always have a choice.... CarnMountification
  • Score: -11

9:16am Fri 18 Apr 14

costa-del-blowfly says...

CarnMountification wrote:
Like it or lump it, those commuters always have a choice....
But most rail users/commenters don't have a choice, do they.

Most ToCs are essentially a monopoly with Greater Anglia exploiting this by running the 25 - 30 year old rolling stock it inherited into the ground.

The whole rail network needs to be brought under majority public ownership, like the German model.
[quote][p][bold]CarnMountification[/bold] wrote: Like it or lump it, those commuters always have a choice....[/p][/quote]But most rail users/commenters don't have a choice, do they. Most ToCs are essentially a monopoly with Greater Anglia exploiting this by running the 25 - 30 year old rolling stock it inherited into the ground. The whole rail network needs to be brought under majority public ownership, like the German model. costa-del-blowfly
  • Score: 5

10:57am Fri 18 Apr 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

They alway moan, those commuters...
They alway moan, those commuters... carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: -3

11:23am Fri 18 Apr 14

joejoe111 says...

they seriously need to get some new trains for the Southend Victoria to Liverpool Street line, we have had the same old trains for years now and with rails fares been so high i find it a insult to passengers.
they seriously need to get some new trains for the Southend Victoria to Liverpool Street line, we have had the same old trains for years now and with rails fares been so high i find it a insult to passengers. joejoe111
  • Score: 0

1:22pm Fri 18 Apr 14

emcee says...

Compared to C2C, the Greater Anglia line is attrocious. The rolling stock is no better than cattle wagons. It used to be that commuters used to dread travelling to London on the Shoebury/Fenchurch St line but that line is a pleasure compared with having to travel to London via the Southend/Liverpool St line.
It is also such a shame that the Airport is let down by being on the the Greater Anglia line.
Compared to C2C, the Greater Anglia line is attrocious. The rolling stock is no better than cattle wagons. It used to be that commuters used to dread travelling to London on the Shoebury/Fenchurch St line but that line is a pleasure compared with having to travel to London via the Southend/Liverpool St line. It is also such a shame that the Airport is let down by being on the the Greater Anglia line. emcee
  • Score: 6

4:35pm Fri 18 Apr 14

barneydrop says...

Abellio (who have the franchise) shareholders must be laughing their heads off.
Not only can they continue to provide a poor service, they get to make a wacking Great profit as well.
Last Sunday was a good example of what they think of their passengers. On the day of the London Marathon some bright spark decided that the majority of the early morning trains only needed to have 4 coaches.
That led to extreme overcrowding which they blamed on the engineering works being carried out between Hockley and Southend at that time of day.
They are complete shambles and the best thing that could happen for users of the line is that company goes out of business.
However, that's highly unlikely as they have been gifted a licence to print money.
Abellio (who have the franchise) shareholders must be laughing their heads off. Not only can they continue to provide a poor service, they get to make a wacking Great profit as well. Last Sunday was a good example of what they think of their passengers. On the day of the London Marathon some bright spark decided that the majority of the early morning trains only needed to have 4 coaches. That led to extreme overcrowding which they blamed on the engineering works being carried out between Hockley and Southend at that time of day. They are complete shambles and the best thing that could happen for users of the line is that company goes out of business. However, that's highly unlikely as they have been gifted a licence to print money. barneydrop
  • Score: 2

4:53pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Nebs says...

All public transport should be free at the point of use, paid for out of general taxation.
All public transport should be free at the point of use, paid for out of general taxation. Nebs
  • Score: -4

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