Abellio Greater Anglia most improved rail company according to new figures

Abellio InterCity train.

Abellio InterCity train. - Credit: Archant

Abellio Greater Anglia was the most improved rail company in Britain between spring and autumn last year according to new figures released by the official watchdog Transport Focus.

The overall satisfaction level with the company increased from 75% to 81%. That still left it in mid-table among rail operators – but none of those who had been operating earlier in the year showed such a large improvement.

Satisfaction with stations went up by 8% to 80% while overall satisfaction with the trains went up by 13% to 79%.

Improvements were greatest in areas where the company has invested significantly – in the upkeep of trains, the cleanliness of trains, and in the number and quality of staff available to help.

There was no improvement recorded on the frequency of trains or their punctuality.

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A spokeswoman for Transport Focus said they had been working with Abellio Greater Anglia to try to improve things for passengers after previous surveys highlighted problems.

The watchdog was pleased that these improvements did appear to be paying off.

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The survey was carried out between early September and early November last year. Ironically it finished on the day that the company started to suffer serious problems with leaves on the line which led to rural rail services being suspended on several lines, especially the Felixstowe and Sudbury branches in Suffolk.

Abellio Greater Anglia is updating its fleet of InterCity carriages and is also refurbishing many of the electric units that are used on suburban services.

It has also recruited more staff to help passengers and more cleaners.

Jamie Burles, Managing Director, Abellio Greater Anglia said: “I am very pleased that customer satisfaction has improved in the Autumn 2015 survey, compared with the previous year’s surveys.

“It is especially encouraging that in key areas of the survey such as station and train cleanliness, train upkeep and repair and the helpfulness of our staff, the improvements achieved in customer satisfaction reflect the £40 million we are investing over the course of the short franchise to upgrade our train fleet and improve cleanliness, customer service and performance.

“We know that there is much more to do to meet our customers’ expectations. We are therefore absolutely committed to consistently raising customer service standards and improving customer satisfaction still further over the remainder of our franchise.”

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