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Network Rail pledges £10m to tackle problems on East Anglian routes

PUBLISHED: 16:30 21 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:35 21 March 2019

Network Rail has £10m to spend on improving track in East Anglia. Picture: NETWORK RAIL

Network Rail has £10m to spend on improving track in East Anglia. Picture: NETWORK RAIL

Archant

Network Rail has earmarked £10m to deal with issues on track around East Anglia in a bid to reduce the number of problems that can delay trains in the area.

The money will go towards its “Every second counts” project aimed at dealing with problems before they cause major problems for passengers.

Over the last three months, additional efforts have focused on making improvements and so far, £4.4m has been allocated to projects with a further £5.6m planned to be spent this year.

Staff were invited to submit suggestions on how Network Rail could improve its performance if additional funding were available. Some of the suggestions that will be funded include:

• Infrastructure improvements that will make the train service more reliable with fewer speed restrictions

• Making the rails more resilient in hot weather to reduce the number of temporary speed restrictions

Accelerating the repair of the track where it is built on clay embankments which dry out and shrink during the summer which could cause land slippages and delay or cancel services

• Measures to reduce crime such as making it harder for people to trespass on the railway by improving fences and railings

• Investing in two additional dedicated British Transport Police officers to provide a 24-hour service so they can quickly respond to incidents and to identify those who might be at risk of suicide. There will also be additional Land Sheriffs at stations.

Steve Hooker, Network Rail’s chief operating officer for the Anglia route said: “We know the frustration passengers feel when a train is delayed. Every Second Counts is about what we can do to make rail travel better because we know that delays can mean less time spent with loved ones and people being late for work or appointments.

“Engineers on the ground know the railway best, so staff were asked what would make the difference if extra money was available.”

Meanwhile, the latest figures show that almost 93% of trains ran on time across the whole Anglia route during the past 12 weeks – the highest it has been for almost a year.

The latest figures show that punctuality was 93%, 92.5% and 92.9% respectively, which makes an average of 92.8%.

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