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Greater Anglia's passengers dissatisfied – but are those from Ipswich happier than those from Cambridge?

PUBLISHED: 12:13 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:46 29 January 2019

An Intercity train at Ipswich Station heading for London, Stock Image

An Intercity train at Ipswich Station heading for London, Stock Image

Archant

Greater Anglia passengers have become significantly less satisfied with their journeys over the last 12 months, according to new figures from the rail watchdog Transport Focus.

Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles. Picture: GREATER ANGLIAGreater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA

However the train company says that the figures showing an 8% fall in passenger satisfaction do not reflect the situation on its lines in the east of the region – it says they are distorted by problems on its route between London and Cambridge.

According to Passenger Focus, only 73% of passengers were satisfied with their journeys on Greater Anglia when it conducted its survey in the autumn – the previous year the figure had been 81%.

Greater Anglia said that in the detailed figures, which are not published in the report, the passenger satisfaction with its regional services (the rural services to Lowestoft, Felixstowe, Cambridge and Peterborough from Ipswich) and the InterCity trains on the Great Eastern Main Line had remained high at 82% and 81% respectively.

Satisfaction on Great Eastern suburban services from Ipswich and Essex to London was lower, at 76%, but still higher than the company’s average.

Derek Monnery believes there are problems on the Great Eastern line as well as in west Anglia.  Picture: ARCHANTDerek Monnery believes there are problems on the Great Eastern line as well as in west Anglia. Picture: ARCHANT

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We are working on a number of initiatives, with Network Rail, to improve customer satisfaction across the network, including responding faster to disruptive incidents and we’re improving the reliability of our old trains.

“We’re also modernising the railway in East Anglia, replacing all of our existing trains with brand new state-of-the-art trains, new services and unprecedented levels of investment in stations, car parks, depots and ticket facilities, while Network Rail is investing millions of pounds in railway infrastructure upgrades across the network.”

Derek Monnery, from the Essex Rail Users’ Federation, did not accept that all the problems were on the West Anglia services.

He said: “Things have got worse on this route – and people will continue to be dissatisfied until things change. We need the new trains. We need to get Network Rail to upgrade the track.

“And we need to get the freight trains off the main line to London because they cause many of the problems by breaking down and delaying other trains.”

Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: “Government and the industry must continue to focus on performance.

“In the longer term the Government’s Rail Review must bring about fundamental change. Passenger irritation at poor performance erodes their most basic trust in the industry.”

He added: “A better value for money and more reliable railway must arrive soon for passengers.”

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