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Poll: Is Greater Anglia the worst rail service provider in the UK?

09:15 17 February 2014

Greater Anglia fared badly in the Which? survey

Greater Anglia fared badly in the Which? survey

Archant © 2012

A survey or regular rail passengers has revealed that Greater Anglia is one of the worst-performing in the country in terms of satisfaction ratings.

The survey was carried out by Which? and took into account the views of more than 7,000 regular travellers.

Together with Southeastern, Greater Anglia’s satisfaction score was only 40pc, while First Capital Connect scored 41pc.

Ten of the 19 companies had satisfaction scores of less than 50pc, with Merseyrail the best-performing company at 70pc.

The survey, conducted among 7,415 UK adults in November 2013 also showed:

• 16pc of all passengers experienced a delay on their last journey, with this figure rising to 26pc for commuters

• 21pc of commuters said they were likely to have stood on their last journey

• 11pc said toilets were not in good working order

• 11pc said they had cause to complain about the last journey they had taken, but 75pc did not officially complain. Of those who did complain, more than half 55pc were dissatisfied with how it was handled

The overall satisfaction scores were based on satisfaction with a company and the likelihood of customers recommending the company. On average, those surveyed had travelled by train 32 times in the previous 12 months.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “It’s disappointing to see some train companies consistently falling down on the basics of customer service, with dirty and overcrowded carriages and toilets that don’t work.

“Seven rail franchises end in the next two years and we want to see passengers’ experiences put right at the heart of the tender process so companies respond to consumer expectations and can be held to account if they don’t.”


  • I have commuted on the Ipswich to London line for some 14+ years and whilst further improvement is still required there have been some improvements mainly centred around train reliability, whilst it’s not always possible for train to arrive on time for other factors it is a rarity that it is attributed to a breakdown. Communication is still appalling and falls along way below what is acceptable. It is often the case that if a train you are travelling on is lagging behind its schedule there is no announcement from the train staff or accurate information to be found on the website. I gave up making any form of a complaint regarding the service years ago, it is blatantly clear that running the customer service department is no more than filling some sort of basic obligation that heads off a disgruntled customer rather than seeking to gather information that could improve the service. My biggest gripe of late has been the reduction in train size, 1-2 coaches have been missing of most of the mainline trains since the end of November causing serious overcrowding. There hasn’t been a single official line on this from the company, or any sort of an apology for the worsening conditions. They have continued to run with the full complement of 1st class carriages and sell reservations. There has been some improvement in the attitude of the staff since the new Dutch operator took over, which is good as things were at all-time low 3-4 years ago. It was common place to see staff hiding in the guards van for the entire journey smoking or sleeping as they had just given up. If Ipswich is ever to pull itself out of the slump it now finds itself in, the train line to London will be at the centre of any recovery, this town needs a reliable and frequent train service to the capital.

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    Angry Commuter

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Not sure how 40+% can rate GA as terrible. Sure the main line has carriages out at the moment - seems like they are slowly being painted and not really refurbished but they generally run on time and its rare that people from Ipswich and north have to stand going into London and tbh I have only stood once or twice on the way back this year. Doesn't sound too terrible. Sure announcements can be better when things do go wrong but I suspect thats down to National Rail not telling anyone whats going on. GA have no input into this - maybe they should get some.....

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    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • I am not travelling on their trains. They didn't deal with my complaint about flea bites satisfactorily, the trains are always dirty. They make me ashamed of them. There appear to be constant faults, I don't trust them and think there will be a tragedy before someone in power wakes up and sorts them out. I go to London fairly regularly and drive to the outskirts rather than get on one of their trains.

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    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Surprise ! Surprise !, nearly every day the Eadt or Star report some breakdown or delay somewhere in East Anglia !

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    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • I don't think the service is that bad - it could be far, far better though. What I think is very poor is the tatty, ancient trains and the ridiculous prices! When my car broke down a few weeks ago, it cost me £9.80 per day to get 16 miles to Colchester- if I had to do this daily, It would not be affordable to get to work in the next major town from Ipswich. I'd be happy to tolerate ratty olf trains for bargain basement fares, but we are paying premium prices for a so-so service and so-so trains

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    Sentinel Red

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Greater Anglia tried hard to start with to improve matters from the dire National Express days but latterly it has fallen down. It get around recorded delays by starting trains part way down the line so for instance yesterday some of the London to Norwich train were not recorded as cancelled on its site, they just started at Colchester. Very useful. The issue with short trains is mentioned on the website as major maintenance but the journeycheck part always says it is a train fault that has caused it. Joined up messages would help. Today the 0708 had only one 1st class carriage - suddenly we get profuse apologies at every station and those passengers told over the intercom to write in to get a refund. Funny how that does not happen when its a standard class carriage or two missing and 80 or 160 passengers have to stand whilst the 1st class carriages are half empty and the guards refuse to declassify even if there are elderly people standing. I did manage one day to shame one guard to declassify but that is the exception. Frankly the issue is one of disrespect for standard class passengers who pay the bulk of the fares.

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    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Toilets are an area they just don't seem interested in getting right. It's amazing that you can catch a mid-morning train from Ipswich to Bury and even by then there's no water to wash your hands after using the toilet. Which is pretty disgusting to say the least. It's not as if there's no opportunity to top up the tanks; the train sits in Ipswich station for a good 10-20 minutes.

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    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Can someone explain the benefits of Rail privatisation for starters? Apart from a very small number of newer local trains (purchased by Anglia Railways ages ago), every train is old British Rail. Numerous coats of paint make up the only real change. Recent shorter main line trains are because yet another lick of paint is being applied and so many coaches are taken out of service on a rotation for this. Rather than find short term replacements (at a cost naturally), Abellyup claim there aren't any and apologise profusely (Ho Ho!). There ARE spares around if they care too look! There are more trains now overall, although bizarrely less off-peak between Ipswich and London since the competition between Great Eastern and Anglia. Staff attitude wavers dependent on Operator, National Express plunged the depths and Abellyup started an improvement, but its slacking now. Sadly many old hands who at least had a sense of humour and common sense have been replaced by mechanical droids, trained on repetitive scripts. Network Rail are trying to improve the infrastructure but as they pick up the bill for any related problems, why should Abellyup care about the passengers inconvenience? Simply, they don't! All in all, we're no further forward really, except now the profits are funneled to Dutch Railways rather than the UK, and of course NEVER back into the system. A sad waste of 20 years!

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    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • It will never change - there is a serious lack of competition and its not too indifferent to the local bus situation. There should be a contract for the mainline and smaller contracts for each of the smaller lines. ***** Just like Ipswich Buses should focus on the main routes (13,9,10 etc.) and let independent operators take the less profitable routes, to get rid of the poor attitude against vital services people want but doesn't so so well. ***** Back to trains... the whole system is about assigning some large business the opportunity to "deal with" running the trains as the Government doesn't really care. There is really no money in trains when you run them correctly... more reliable trains? cost more to run! longer trains? cost more to run! customer service? cost more to run! fully working facilities? cost more to run! ***** The reason we never got high speed rail (nationally) is the Government was content in just delegating services to big companies that didn't care about anything else other than making a profit. This not only lacked improved speed but all standards started to drop too - including lack of investment in the upkeep of the line - obviously not an rail operator issue. To save money, services to the capital are slower than they used to be! Why? it improves reliability... It only used to take around 55 minutes to the capital (the faster train), the faster train now doesn't stop at any more stops or stay for longer than before...but takes much longer. ***** overcrowded carriages is a big insult as all tickets need to be purchased for the train you are traveling on... only off-peak tickets (which are not valid on peak services) have that flexibility of any off-peak train. So tickets are being oversold. ***** But the mainline doesn't suffer as badly as the Cambridge service - despite being the only city nearby not on the mainline, the service is too infrequent and very few carriages ever on it.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • I am not travelling on their trains. They didn't deal with my complaint about flea bites satisfactorily, the trains are always dirty. They make me ashamed of them. There appear to be constant faults, I don't trust them and think they will be a tragedy before someone in power wakes up and sorts them out. I go to London fairly regularly and drive to the outskirts rather than get on one of their trains.

    Report this comment


    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • I agree that there is no money in rail run well. But I can't see the point in running the rural routes separately from mainline ones as connections and any sense of integration would disappear. I think there are some problems which can be blamed on - such as dirty toilets or defects in stations. There is also some scope for new and longer trains. But GA can do little about reliability which is down to Network Rail - the real problem is that our network is running at capacity inwards of Colchester or Witham. I have generally found information to be fairly good. I was very impressed one bad day when they were giving very clear instructions to connecting passengers at Ipswich.

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    Baptist Trainfan

    Monday, February 17, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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