Trains running on time says 'one'

RAIL users have welcomed an announcement from train operator 'one' that it is continuing to meet its punctuality targets - but they have challenged the company to do well for the rest of the year.

RAIL users have welcomed an announcement by train operator 'one' that it is continuing to meet its punctuality targets.

However, they have challenged the company to do well for the rest of the year.

'one', which provides rail services across Essex and Suffolk, said its punctuality on the region's routes reached more than 90per cent for a fifth successive period.

In the four weeks ending July 21, 91.3pc of 'one' railway services arrived at their destination “on time” - classified as being within five minutes of the published arrival time, except on intercity routes.

The rating on mainline services between London and towns such as Colchester and Ipswich was 89.8pc.

While 'one' said it had maintained the most consistent period of performance since the franchise began in 2004 and one of the best periods of the past 15 years, the Witham and Braintree Rail Users' Association questioned whether the train operator could keep up the performance.

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Chairman David Bigg said: “The figures are in line with what we're showing and we don't expect, given the nature of our line, for them to do much better than this.”

He added: “They go downhill from here - it seems to be a very good half-year until June, but the acid test will be if they maintain this level of performance for the rest of the year.”

He called for investment and expansion of the line which, because it has just one line in each direction for much of the distance, can often be severely disrupted by a single problem.

Andrew Chivers, managing director of 'one', said some routes, including the rural lines in Suffolk and the West Anglia lines in Essex were regularly delivering punctuality as high as 92 or 93pc.

“Our priority now is to maintain the progress achieved by our employees and those in Network Rail since March to provide customers with these higher standards on a continuing basis over the coming months, as well as minimising the occasions when problems do occur and ensuring we handle those incidents effectively,” he added.

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