New year train performance off to a good start, as annual punctuality reaches new record
Greater Anglia saw punctuality leap by almost 15% last year, with over 40,000 more services running on time than in 2019, figures reveal.
Annual average punctuality has now reached a record 92.97%, beating the previous high of 92.77% achieved in June 2013.
And 2021 has got off to a good start with over 94% of trains in East Anglia running on time at the beginning of the year, according to Greater Anglia’s most recent performance figures.
Regional branch lines saw the best performance, with services on the Norwich – Great Yarmouth line recording 99.7% punctuality and the Norwich – Sheringham line recording 99.5% in the four weeks ending 9 January 2021.
Other top performing routes included the Norwich - Lowestoft route at 98.6%, the Marks Tey – Sudbury line at 95.8%, the London – Colchester/Clacton/Walton service at 95.7%, and the Norwich – Cambridge line at 95.5%.
94.79% of Greater Anglia’s Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester – London Intercity services ran on time.
The company has attributed last year step-change in punctuality results to the hard of work Greater Anglia’s teams and its new regional trains.
The new trains’ better performance includes improved acceleration and deceleration, the ability to recover more quickly from any incidents that do occur and coping much better with the challenges of autumn – always a difficult period for the railway, when damp rails and falling leaves cause slippery conditions.
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: "I’m pleased to see that our relentless focus on improving performance has resulted in another good set of results and that we have continued to provide a safe and reliable service for customers who need to travel."
Greater Anglia is currently running a reduced timetable with about 72 per cent of usual services still running.
The move is in response to lower passenger numbers due to Covid-19 restrictions and has been taken in consultation with the Government, which is currently funding the railway.
Current Government advice is to stay at home unless you need to travel for permitted reasons including work and medical appointments.
Greater Anglia continues to ensure that rail travel is safe for staff and passengers with an enhanced cleaning regime, on stations and trains, concentrating on high-touch areas such as push buttons, grab rails and door handles.
The train operator has also introduced a wide range of measures to make it easier for customers to maintain social distancing at stations and on trains - including floor markings, one-way systems, new signs and queuing systems.
It is mandatory for customers to wear a face covering when using public transport, to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. Children under the age of 11 and people with a disability or illness which means they cannot wear a face covering are exempt from wearing them.