Train services on the up

RAIL services in East Anglia improved slightly during the first three months of 2004 – but not as much as in other parts of Britain according to new figures from the Strategic Rail Authority.

RAIL services in East Anglia improved slightly during the first three months of 2004 – but not as much as in other parts of Britain according to new figures from the Strategic Rail Authority.

The new figures show the punctuality of trains during the first three months of the year, during the end of the former Anglia and Great Eastern franchises.

It showed that the number of Anglia InterCity trains running on time increased from 76 to 79.5 percent between 2003 and 2004.

However other operators improved their performance to produce punctuality figures of more than 80 pc.

Anglia's local services saw punctuality dip slightly, down from 87.6pc to 8.7pc.

Great Eastern's punctuality improved from 87.8pc to 88.6pc of trains arriving on time.

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The figures show that nationally passenger train punctuality improved this winter but services have still not reached levels achieved before the October 2000 Hatfield rail crash.

A total of 83.1pc of trains ran on time in January-March 2004 compared with 80.5pc in January-March 2003, the SRA said.

But in the comparable period before Hatfield (January-March 2000), the punctuality figure was as high as 89.1pc.

The SRA also announced today that the number of kilometres travelled by passengers increased 5.8pc in January-March 2004 compared with the same period last year.

And complaints per 100,000 journeys between January and March this year decreased 43pc.

The next set of figures, due to be published in September, will give the first indication of whether there has been any improvement since the introduction of the new One franchise running all the region's rail services.

And this summer's figures for the East Anglian area are likely to be meaningless because of the closure of Ipswich tunnel.