Watch: Suffolk rail services have some of Greater Anglia’s worst timekeeping

Intercity trains were among the least punctual on the Greater Anglia network in February 2019.

Intercity trains were among the least punctual on the Greater Anglia network in February 2019. - Credit: Archant

Punctuality on Suffolk rail services is among the worst on Greater Anglia’s network according to new statistics just published.

But commuters from Essex have a more reliable service into the capital – and travellers on the Sudbury to Marks Tey branch have one of the most punctual services anywhere.

During February Intercity services between Norwich and London through Ipswich, Colchester and Stowmarket, were among the least punctual in the region with only 86.5% of trains arriving on time. That compares with a company average of 90.5% and a national average of 89.1%.

Local services in Suffolk were also below average with 87.9% of trains between Ipswich and Cambridge or Peterborough running on time, 88.4% of trains on the East Suffolk line and 88.8% on the Ipswich to Felixstowe line being punctual.

The picture was brighter for travellers in Essex with 92% of trains from Colchester and Clacton to London being punctual, 92.5% of trains to Harwich, and 97.6% of trains on the Sudbury branch running to time.

There were also impressive punctuality figures for branch lines in Norfolk.

A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia accepted that the Intercity figures “Are not where we would like them to be.”

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Jamie Burles, Managing Director, Greater Anglia, said: “Our aim now is to provide better punctuality more consistently across the whole network and we have invested over £20 million to date in a fleet reliability programme to help achieve this target.

“In addition, Network Rail is focusing on reducing the most disruptive track, signal and overhead line faults, removing temporary speed restrictions and getting the railway running back to normal more quickly when delays do occur.

“They are also investing significant sums to improve the medium and longer term reliability of the rail infrastructure in our region.

Meliha Duymaz, Route Managing Director for Network Rail Anglia, said: “Getting passengers to where they need to be on time is what we’re here to do, day in, day out.

“The last few months has seen punctuality improve, and this has been achieved with our train operator partners by managing the basic causes of delay through our performance campaign – Every Second Counts.

“This programme of structured improvements which has been running for the past three months is relentlessly focused on the most common causes of delay and driving them down through clear and practical actions.

“Furthermore, looking into the future, we’re working hard to improve the railway for everyone on the Anglia route by investing £2.2bn over the next five years.”

The new timekeeping statistics comes just days before a new 15-minute delay/repay scheme is introduced on the Greater Anglia network.