Greater Anglia Helps Deliver Progress on East Anglian Rail Prospectus Priorities
Train operator Greater Anglia is playing a pivotal role in helping achieve some of the aims in the East Anglian Rail Prospectus, which was launched a year ago to make the case for regional rail investment in East Anglia. The company, which took over the main regional franchise in February 2012, helped to coordinate and draft the prospectus and has spent the subsequent 12 months working with regional stakeholders to secure some of the upgrades targeted for the period up to 2019. Greater Anglia has prepared an update on the status of these initial objectives, which shows that significant collective progress has been achieved. Of the twenty one priorities highlighted, twelve are either agreed or already being implemented, seven have seen positive progress and two have seen limited progress and need more stakeholder work to ensure tangible upgrades are delivered by 2019.
Notable successes have included:
· Approval either secured or pending for the Bow Junction re-modelling, Ely North Junction upgrade, planned Felixstowe - Nuneaton enhancements (though some more work to be done on the Felixstowe - Ipswich section), West Anglia third track from Lea Bridge - Angel Road and Gospel Oak - Barking electrification rail infrastructure schemes
· Train service annual punctuality up to 92.8%
· Station refresh schemes delivered at over 90 stations
· Print-at-home ticketing and mobile ticketing now being trialled on a number of routes on the Greater Anglia network
Work is also underway to look at rolling stock upgrades (though these are linked more to the long term Greater Anglia franchise), more frequent services from the Lea Valley to Stratford, earlier and later trains to Stansted Airport, more frequent Cambridge - Stansted Airport and planning to fill key gaps in local services (especially Ipswich - Peterborough, though again this is linked to the long term Greater Anglia franchise).
The two schemes where limited progress has been achieved to date is on the two infrastructure schemes relating to improved journey times and capacity on the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester, Chelmsford and London).
Today's East Anglian Rail Summit drew together the influential and extensive alliance of MPs, local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and Chambers of Commerce, who have all joined forces to highlight the importance of rail upgrades in East Anglia and campaign for the improvements set out in the East Anglian Rail Prospectus - both for the remainder of this decade and in line with a 20 year vision of rail services in the region.
Commenting on the progress made against the priorities in the prospectus Ruud Haket, Managing Director for Greater Anglia said:
"Greater Anglia remains passionate about playing its part in delivering major upgrades to train services in East Anglia in both the short and long term to meet customers and the region's aspirations. We've been instrumental, alongside other stakeholders, in making real progress on a number of the aspirations and aims we set out last year, with a number of infrastructure schemes agreed, significant improvements in train performance delivered, station improvements implemented and ticket purchase made easier.
However, we have more to do to ensure tangible upgrades to capacity and line speeds on the GEML and rolling stock enhancements are delivered before the end of this decade.
All of us involved in the region-wide alliance of stakeholders (including MPs, local authorities, LEPs, Chambers of Commerce and rail user groups) need to continue to work together to ensure we achieve the aims laid out in the East Anglian Rail Prospectus. We look forward to continuing to partner with regional stakeholders and Network Rail to secure the best deal for our railways."