Fewer complaints, more passengers brings rail boost to Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia's InterCity trains have become more reliable.

Greater Anglia's InterCity trains have become more reliable. - Credit: Archant

The number of complaints to Greater Anglia by passengers during the first three months of the financial year almost halved compared with the same period in 2017, according to new figures from the industry watchdog.

Between April and June this year the number of complaints fell by 47% to 31 per 100,000 journeys – a fall of 47%, the largest drop of any train company according to the government’s Office of Road and Rail (ORR).

Nationally the number of complaints rose by 6.6% across the network to a national average of 30 per 100,000 journeys.

The news that Greater Anglia’s level of complaints had fallen did not come as a surprise to Derek Monnery, chairman of the Essex Federation of Rail Users.

He said: “To be fair, they have made quite a lot of effort to make their trains more reliable and it has paid off. The InterCity trains are now especially reliable which is quite remarkable because they are some of the oldest on the whole network.

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“There were problems with some of their suburban trains in early 2017 which will have pushed up the complaints then – they got in some fresh stock from another operator and I don’t think they had been looked after that well.”

The ORR said Greater Anglia also saw a 4.4% increase in passenger numbers during the first quarter of the financial year. The national average was 3.2% and the average for trains in the South East was 3.5%.

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A Greater Anglia spokesman said: “We are pleased to see a reduction in complaints. We have been working hard over the last year to improve train performance and upgrade stations.

“We provide many ways for customers to get in touch with us and have taken steps to make it easier for people to contact us and claim delay repay compensation.

“We take customers complaints seriously, listen to their feedback and use it to improve our service. We also now offer compensation in cash as well as vouchers, plus an option to donate to charity.”

The company also welcomed the growth in passenger journeys. She said: “We proactively promote rail travel as a convenient, comfortable, quick and good value way to travel, which is also an environmentally friendly and sustainable choice.

“We are transforming rail travel in East Anglia and replacing every train with a brand new one from the middle of next year.”

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