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East Anglia: Performance of rural rail services dragged down by shortage of trains and replacement buses on Felixstowe branch

06:00 12 April 2014

Greater Anglia train.

Greater Anglia train.

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Trains running on the eastern side of the region still showed timekeeping below the national average during March according to new figures.

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And the figures for rural services were especially poor – dragged down by a shortage of trains and bus replacements on the Felixstowe branch.

Overall Abellio Greater Anglia’s figures showed that 92.1% of its trains ran on time, compared with 91.4% for the national rail network for the four weeks to March 31.

However on the mainline, only 90.5% of trains ran on time, and on rural services the figure was 88.7%. Services to West Anglia, Southend, and Stansted Airport were more punctual and boosted the company’s overall figure.

Greater Anglia’s rural services faced problems because of a serious shortage of diesel units. One unit was away for planned refurbishment and others had to be taken out of service to repair damage.

These are all now returning to service.

There were also several of people being hit by trains on both the main line and rural routes – each of these led to delays on services.

Across the region, however, the company’s figures were better than the previous four-week period.

Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles said: “It is encouraging that our train service performance improved in March compared to the previous four-week period.

“We recognise there is more work to do in delivering consistent levels of performance and I would like to assure customers of our ongoing commitment to work closely with our colleagues at Network Rail in doing all we can to further improve train punctuality.

“I am pleased that most of our Intercity services are now running to their planned capacity as coaches have returned to service following scheduled maintenance.

“On our Rural network, we have now resolved most of the reliability issues that had affected services on the branch lines out of Ipswich and Norwich, when a number of trains were undergoing repair.

“We are also continuing to work with our industry partners to improve reliability.”

The figures are compiled by Network Rail from services across the country and are published every four weeks to provide a record of the progress of every train operator.

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