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Greater Anglia up for eight awards after a year of rail improvements

PUBLISHED: 15:36 22 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:36 22 August 2018

Improvements to Ipswich Station have helped it to be shortlisted in the Station of the Year category. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Improvements to Ipswich Station have helped it to be shortlisted in the Station of the Year category. Picture: PAUL GEATER

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Greater Anglia has been shortlisted for eight classes at the National Rail Awards – including the top accolade of Passenger Operator of the Year.

The company is a finalist in the Customer Service Excellence award – for leading the industry in rolling out Smart Card ticketing.

Its Class 156 diesel trains, which run on local lines, are short-listed in the Train of the Year award, following a project to fit them with a special wheel slip protection system – which prevents wheel damage in slippery conditions especially in the autumn.

Laura Englestone, who is helping the company improve customer service standards across the network, has been nominated for the Outstanding Personal Contribution award.

Four Greater Anglia stations are nominated for Station of the Year – Ipswich and Norwich in the Large Station category, Ingatestone in the Medium category, and Bures in the Small Station category.

This is the first full year that the remodelled Ipswich station and forecourt has been open to the public after a £2m upgrade both inside and out.

The company has been short-listed in the Passenger Operator of the Year award following a range of initiatives including improving the maintenance of its train fleet, improving stations, making it easier to buy tickets, and making it easier to claim compensation when there are problems.

Managing Director Jamie Burles said: “It’s great to have so many nominations, including Passenger Operator of the Year, reflecting the significant improvements we’ve delivered for customers in the first 18 months of our franchise.

“Trains are more reliable and cleaner, with many benefitting from refurbishment. We’ve also added more seats, by leasing more trains, implemented timetable improvements and upgraded our stations.”

Meanwhile rail passengers are facing disruption on the main line to London over the August bank holiday weekend as new track is laid between Colchester and Manningtree – closing the line for three days.

There are also weekend line closures planned throughout the autumn – so anyone planning a day trip by train needs to check in advance whether there are any line closures and bus substitutions.

A pigeon cull on Ipswich Waterfront has been suspended following plans from protestors to “disrupt” the event.

A woman has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after a crash on the Dock Gate Roundabout in Felixstowe.

The big event may be more than nine months away - but councils and transport companies are making big plans for Ed Sheeran’s concerts in Ipswich next August Bank Holiday.

Restoring a village pub that was once John Peel’s favourite watering hole has been a labour of love for two families in Rattlesden, who couldn’t bear to see their local pub falling into a state of disrepair.

Schoolchildren joined a poignant suffragette march through Ipswich to mark the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote.

This was the moment a miraculous double rainbow appeared over an Ipswich school.

The Ipswich-based Volvo retailer, Donalds Garage has celebrated the opening of their new multi-million-pound showroom at Futura Park.

Suffolk and Essex are to received more than £20m extra from the government to maintain their local road network next year.

Looking for bargain toys in the run-up to Christmas? If so, there’s still just time to take advantage of Argos three for two toy sale - while Smyths has unveiled early Black Friday offers.

Serious safety incidents led to 35 deaths at the region’s mental health trust over a six month period, figures have revealed.

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