Harwich: Stena Line predicts boost from new Greater Anglia rail franchise

FERRY operator Stena Line says it is expecting an increase in passenger numbers on its dutchflyer rail and sail service, thanks to improvements pledged by the new operator responsible for rail services in East Anglia.

Stena’s dutchflyer deal includes rail services to Harwich International Port from London Liverpool Street and stations in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, followed by a Stena Line crossing to the Hook of Holland and onward rail travel to any Dutch station with Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways) within one ticket.

Abellio, the company which took over the Greater Anglia regional rail franchise last month, and is owned by Nederlandse Spoorwegen, has signalled its intention to focus on improved customer service, operational performance and communication with customers, all of which Stena expects to boost numbers using its dutchflyer service.

Lars Olsson, Stena Line’s general manager for travel on the North Sea, said: “Our dutchflyer service has been growing steadily in popularity thanks to the convenience and good value it represents compared to other modes of transport.

“Greater Anglia’s drive to improve the quality of the rail component of our dutchflyer service should create a superior, more attractive proposition for our customers.

“In 2011 we grew our car traffic by 4.4% with the introduction of our new North Sea Superferries the previous year and in 2012 we expect the enhanced East Anglian rail operations to build on the 70,000 rail passengers sailing with us last year.”

Stena Line operates twice-daily six-hour return crossings between Harwich and the Hook of Holland.