East Anglia: Top award for Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia InterCity train

Greater Anglia InterCity train - Credit: Archant © 2012

RAIL passengers in the region may have endured some frustrating journeys over recent weeks, but Greater Anglia has been crowned Rail Operator of the Year.

The company, owned by Dutch group Abellio which took over the franchise in February last year, won the award for 2012 at the Rail Business Awards.

The award notes better punctuality, higher customer service standards, greater customer engagement, improved ticketing, station upgrades, integrated transport improvements and reduced weekend service disruption for passengers.

The company was also praised for its service during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The award comes after the company’s punctuality improved to more than 92% of trains running on time, the highest level for the East Anglian franchise in at least 12 years.

However while Greater Anglia made a favourable impression in the early months of the franchise, there were several major problems in January which left passengers frustrated.

A combination of bad weather, over-running engineering works, signal failures, and train breakdowns led to delays and cancellations – although reliability has improved during February.

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Greater Anglia managing director Ruud Haket said: “I am delighted that barely a year into our short franchise, we have received this independent endorsement of our achievements.

“To be bracketed amongst the leading UK train companies at such an early stage is a tribute to the commitment and dedication of our employees.

“We are committed to making further service improvements over the remainder of our short franchise to July 2014 and to continue to work with regional stakeholders to help secure the long term investment needed to further upgrade train services in East Anglia.”

The franchise is likely to be extended in the wake of the Department for Transport’s problems surrounding the West Coast Main Line franchise

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