Greater Anglia's trains on time - but with fewer passengers

Greater Anglia train near Manningtree

One of Greater Anglia's trains have had record punctuality over the last year - but are running fewer services and carrying fewer passengers. - Credit: Paul Geater

Rail company Greater Anglia is hailing its most successful year ever in terms of punctuality - but it is still only running three quarters of the pre-pandemic number of trains and carrying a fraction of its normal passengers.

Overall, just under 95% of trains were on time – based on moving annual average results from March 2020 to March 2021. 

But during that time the number of trains run was reduced - with eight changes of timetable. At present about 75% of pre-pandemic services are running.

People are only supposed to use public transport for "essential journeys" and at present passenger numbers are about 20% of what they were in early March last year - figures have varied from less than 5% in the first lockdown to 33% last summer when society was more relaxed.

Six of Greater Anglia’s branch lines hit their own highs with annual average punctuality at between 95.5% and 96.9% for the 12 months ending 6 March 2021. 

The Norwich – Great Yarmouth annual average punctuality figure is currently at 96.9% of trains on time, the Norwich – Sheringham and Marks Tey – Sudbury lines are both at 96.8%, the Norwich – Lowestoft line is 96.1%, the Norwich – Cambridge line is 95.7% and the Ipswich – Felixstowe line is 95.5% 

Greater Anglia’s intercity services between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester and London also currently stand at a record annual average figure of 93.4% of trains running on time. 

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A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia said: "It's not that our figures are low because we have fewer passengers and trains - since the end of 2018 we have been working closely with Network Rail to improve our punctuality and reliability and that is paying off."

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: "I know how important it is to our customers that our trains run on time, which is why I started a concerted punctuality drive jointly with Network Rail in 2018, focusing on all areas to improve the reliability and punctuality of our service. 

“Latest figures show that just under 95 per cent of our trains have run on time in the last 12 months and we will be working hard to continue these good results as people come back to the railway when travel restrictions ease."