Published on: Thursday, 6 January 2022
Last updated: Thursday, 6 January 2022
One of Greater Anglia's Alstom trains. Credit: Greater Anglia
Greater Anglia is making further temporary changes to its weekday timetable from Monday 10 January, in response to fewer passengers travelling.
The company is going to replace the current temporary weekday timetable which was implemented just before Christmas with a Sunday-style timetable on most routes – but with earlier first trains mostly consistent with a normal weekday timetable and more trains at peak times.
The busiest services will be operated with eight- or ten-carriage trains.
No changes will be made to regional route service frequency apart from removing four additional peak services on the Norwich to Great Yarmouth route, meaning an hourly service on most routes or two-hourly on the Ipswich to Peterborough route, as normal.
The Norwich to London Liverpool Street intercity service, which operates with 12 carriage trains, will become hourly.
The weekend timetable will remain unchanged.
Passenger numbers at Greater Anglia have fallen again in recent weeks - and are currently at 40-50 per cent of pre pandemic levels, having increased to around 65–70 per cent in the autumn. Peak-time passenger numbers are currently around 30 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.”
They fell after the Government advised people in December to work from home whenever possible – which remains current guidance until at least the end of January – and as fewer people have been travelling, given the recent significant increases in coronavirus cases across the region.
However, the new timetable allows for some growth in passenger numbers, with about 74 per cent of pre-pandemic services continuing to run.
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “The pandemic has changed our railway over the past 21 months. Working patterns have altered, so we currently have fewer commuters and business travellers and we are now entirely funded by the Government – and ultimately taxpayers.
“We are accountable to our customers and to taxpayers. We want to provide a reliable and punctual service for our customers, which also represents the best possible value to taxpayers.
“We’ve been closely monitoring and reviewing our passenger numbers and have designed a timetable which more accurately represents the level of customers who are using the trains.
“We’ll continue to monitor passenger numbers and make adjustments if necessary, by either increasing the length of trains or adding extra services.
“We are determined to continue running a reliable and punctual service for all our customers, as we have done throughout the pandemic.”
Customers are reminded to check before they travel using the Greater Anglia website or app, which will include revised train times.
Greater Anglia has a range of measures in place to keep people safe while travelling including good ventilation with either air conditioning which sucks in fresh air every six to nine minutes or opening windows, as well as doors which open at stations.
The company is continuing with enhanced cleaning and sanitisation paying particular attention to high touch areas such as push buttons and grab handles.
Anyone who wants to travel on a less busy train can check which trains have fewest passengers using the less busy trains tool on the Greater Anglia website.
The company is thanking the high number of customers who are wearing face coverings on trains and stations, which is once again mandatory.
Greater Anglia will continue to monitor the situation and adjust the timetable as necessary.