Greater Anglia starts operations and delivers on its promises

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Anglia will have a secure and fairer railway while car parking charges have been frozen in 2012
Additional customer service staff in place across the franchise from day one

Greater Anglia begins operation today and as promised has already doubled the numbers of safety and security staff employed within its customer service team to ensure that customers feel assured of safe travel on its train services. With the clear focus within the company on customer service these additional team members will be able to provide help, assistance and information while travelling on Greater Anglia trains.

The additional Making Travel Safe Officers (MTSOs), or Enforcement Officers, who will be working across the region will be the largest ever single deployment of complementary policing resources in the history of UK rail. These officers will work in partnership with the Revenue Protection Officers (RPOs) and British Transport Police (BTP) to reduce fare evasion and tackle anti-social behaviour to achieve a better travel experience for all.

To ensure the Greater Anglia frontline Enforcement staff are fully equipped with the training and tools to achieve the highest customer service standards they will be accredited under the Railway Safety Accreditation Scheme (RSAS).

Superintendent Gareth Williams, from British Transport Police, said: “The MTSOs will be a valuable addition to the existing policing presence and provide further reassurance for passengers across the network.”

“We already have officers who tackle crime and passenger safety issues on trains and at stations across Essex and East Anglia, but these additional teams will play a significant role in supporting our efforts, by parolling the lines across the Greater Anglia route.

“The team will be tasked on a daily basis to patrol hotspot locations where anti-social behaviour and low-level disorder is reported and they will work alongside police officers and specialist resources when required.

“By having specific teams targeting dedicated lines of route, passengers can be assured of seeing a higher visibility presence across the Greater Anglia route, which we believe will make great inroads in further reducing crime.”

As promised Greater Anglia has increased the number of seats available on services to and from Liverpool Street by using the fleet available more effectively. These include the 0629 service Ipswich to Liverpool Street, 0811 Stowmarket to Liverpool Street and the 0800 Liverpool Street to Ipswich service. In the evening the 1702 Liverpool Street to Norwich and the 1932 to Harwich International now have more seats for passengers.

In addition a new marketing and advertising campaign launches today to raise awareness of the savings customers can make travelling by train compared with the car. Savings endorsed by Emmerson Hill, who calculate cost per mile for the Department for Transport and the AA, show that running a car is 56 pence per mile and this is reduced to 21 pence per mile by train if the customer travels on a monthly or longer season ticket.

Ruud Haket, Managing Director, Greater Anglia said:

“We want to provide a great rail service and from today will start by ensuring those travelling in the peak see more seats on specific trains. I want customers to have complete peace of mind that they are travelling safely too, and the deployment of the MTSO and RPO team will certainly help. I also want to make it really clear that I believe all customers should travel on a valid ticket. We know that over 90 per cent of customers buy a ticket, however this still leaves 1 in 10 that don’t and this minority are costing all rail users in the end.

“Another promise we made from the outset was to raise awareness of the benefits of rail travel across the region. Our new marketing campaign starts today and has been designed to deliver a strong message to those travelling by car of the savings achieved by travelling by train. At 56 pence per mile for those customers travelling by car, compared to 21 pence per mile if they chose to travel by train could save people thousands of pounds over the year and our research tells us that many do not realise this.

“For those that are already making the journey by train and using Greater Anglia car parks, there is the welcome news that we have frozen car parking charges for the rest of 2012, so there will be no car parking charge increase to passengers this year. 

“We’ll continue to deliver on the promises we have made to improve customer service through a whole suite of initiatives between now and the end of the franchise. Initially we will work towards delivering the successful Olympic programme but my commitment to existing and new customers is to make it easier to ensure staff are able to deliver customer service to you every day, no matter which part of the network you travel on.”

Greater Anglia can also announce the final appointment to the Executive team with the confirmation of Michelle Smart as Human Resources and Safety Assurance Director starting on 1 March 2012.