You said, we listened, we did
Thank you for all your questions that you asked at our Customer Engagement Events!
We really value your feedback as well as want to come back to you with recent information for the topics you raised.
Greater Anglia’s Smart Card is an electronic, reusable card. It is part of the Department for Transport‘ South East Flexible Ticketing’ scheme, which aims to enable interoperable smart ticketing on all of the train operators across the South East.
Annual, Monthly and Weekly seasons as well as Single and Return products are now available on Smart Cards within the Smart Card areas.
This covers the West Anglia and Great Eastern main lines from London as far as Cambridge North and Norwich, plus the branch lines to Hertford East, Stansted Airport and all Great Eastern branch lines in Essex.
At present, only anytime and Off-Peak Single and Return tickets are available at TVMs. Other tickets, such as Travel cards will be available at a later release date.
For customers asking about Validators at stations, we are happy to announce that we are underway with our platform validator installation programme and expect validators at all smart enabled stations by January 2019. To date we have installed working Smart Card Platform validators at Clacton on Sea, Sudbury and Bures.
If you have a spelling issue on your card please go to your local ticket office to have a new card issued, alternatively you can order a replacement online. Commuter club is not available on Smart Card at the moment but we hope to be able to support these in the near future.
Why is it only an hourly service from Clacton, could we have more frequency?
Customers asked about the timetable frequency between Clacton and Colchester. To which we are investigating running two trains per hour each way however one of our obstacles is the amount of foot crossings on the Clacton branch which may cause Network Rail to dispute the operation of further trains on safety / risk grounds.
Late Services on the Sudbury branch
Customers asked about late services on the Sudbury branch. Later services on the Sudbury branch were added a few years back. However, we notice that they are not used by many customers, and therefore it would not currently be viable to operate even later services on this route. Indeed, the Sudbury branch actually has a fairly late service compared to a lot of our rural branch lines.
Why are there no starter trains in the evening peak going down road from Stratford, they always start from Liverpool Street?
Peak trains start from Liverpool Street because there a large number of platforms to hold the number of trains we operate down the Great Eastern main line. We also have a large customer base that board these trains at Liverpool Street. If we started trains at Stratford rather than Liverpool Street this would severely limit overall capacity on the Great Eastern main line due to the length of time it would take to turn those trains round.
The 0655 from MKT have been short formed every day for past 2 weeks?
The 0655 is an agreed short form to improve flexibility on our fleet. We have taken customer counts in to account as part of the decision-making process to implement this change. This is the only train that the train plan allows us to short form and looking at the statistics has minimal overall impact on passenger loadings.
STAR Line Update
The new track known as the STAR line will open to the public in May 19 please visit Network Rail for more information.
Braintree branch timetable
Our customers in Braintree wanted to know what more can be done for them. Our Timetable Development Team are investigating operating the Braintree branch as a shuttle between Braintree and Witham in the off-peak. This would likely improve the reliability of the service as the trains would not run between Witham and London. This is not yet confirmed, but talks are being had with our rail users and MPs.
Why is Shenfield not served as an interchange place for our faster trains?
Customers asked whether Shenfield could be used for our faster services. The short answer is a no as the intercity trains are heavily used by our customers from some of our most major towns and cities. Stopping them at other stations such as Shenfield would overcrowd them further and slow them down. We believe our services our fairly frequent to Shenfield already, albeit intercity trains do not normally call there.
Many of you asked us about the new timetable for the introduction of the new fleet. This currently being looked at by our planners. As we introduce new fleet there will be an opportunity to revise and consider the Greater Anglia timetable to better service our customers. We are still in the process of formalizing the timetables for the future and these will be made available closer to each timetable change.
Customers asked about our recycling at stations and we are pleased to say we have recycled 65% of our 2,999 tonnes of waste last year – up from the 38% of waste put to better use in 2012/13. The operator which serves England’s South East last year appointed Veolia in to help improve those statistics further and also recently appointed an integrated transport manager to “help make people's journeys to and from stations more environmentally friendly”.
Search Twitter, for the #greeneranglia hashtag to come across all of our environmental initiatives.
The improvement works at Rayleigh Station are on going with continued improvements at the station being rolled out in the coming weeks. We will continue the installation of the new LED lights across the station, complete the station painting works which have already started, finish off the bridge refurbishment and begin the roll out of our new station technology programme. This new technology will see improvements in our Customer Information Screens, PA systems, Help Points, CCTV amongst other back office systems to help improve the overall customer experience at the station.
Harlow Town - Cycle Storage
The Cycle Storage at Harlow Station was flagged on our recent engagement event as an opportunity to improve the customer experience at the station. Due to the listed nature of the building and the grounds we are limited in what we are able to do, however we will be undertaking a Cycle facilities review in October to see if there is anything we can do quickly to benefit those who use the cycle facilities. Watch this space for further updates.
Following an incident on in November at Sudbury Station. What resuscitation equipment is available at the stations?
We have AEDs at 16 locations on our network this includes: Billericay, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Colchester, Hockley, Ipswich, Norwich, Prittlewell, Rayleigh, Rochford, Wickford, Shenfield, Southend Victoria, Stansted Airport, Liverpool Street and Stratford. Our Community Rail Partnerships have been keen to install as many AEDs at our stations as possible and following this query are now making AED installation at Sudbury station a priority in early 2019.
We are looking to install further AEDs at Marks Tey and Manningtree in the coming months. This link http://www.heartsafe.org.uk/AED-Locations will allow you to search for AEDs in your local area.
Oulton Broad South Station
Recent feedback from Our Always Listening Survey told us that our customers were hindered by overgrown foliage. We have since visited the local area and spoken to the residents who live along the approach road to the station. They are happy to work with us on this and will be parking their cars in places away from the vegetation in order for us to remove very soon.
Colchester Station – female toilets
You gave us feedback that the toilets locks were faulty, the bag hooks had come of the back of the doors and generally needed a clean. We have now raised work for the locks to be fixed, hooks to be added to the reverse of doors, we have arranged a deep clean and will also look to install air freshener to improve the customer experience.
Water pressure at Broxbourne in the female toilets is too high and often splashes customers.
Our asset management team have been out to look at the water pressure at the station now and have reduced this in the woman’s facilities to hopefully address this for our customers.
Ticket Barriers not working?
We have had feedback on some stations for where barriers not accepting Smartcards. We are continually working with our suppliers to improve the system and will be rolling out software updates to ticket gates that should correct any issues and make our Smartcard even more reliable across the network.
We are investing in WiFi across all our fleet! Connect is ready to use on all Norwich to London Intercity trains and Stansted Express services, we're starting to roll it out to the wider network with the plan to have most trains Connect ready by the end of December 2018. Most of our refurbished commuter trains operating between Ipswich/Southend/Colchester/Braintree and London have also been fitted with the service.Those trains on West Anglia that did not have WiFi will be fitted with WiFi for the first time improving your overall on train experience. The trains that already have WiFi have been upgraded as well which will allow better connectivity throughout the journey. For more information, please visit our WiFi FAQ page.
Short Forms frequency
With our Norwich to London intercity trains, sometimes we have to remove a carriage, making them shorter than usual. If we are unable to couple together the usual amount of trains, we end up with a shorter train than usual. Unfortunately, this means there are fewer seats than usual, which makes rush-hour trains overcrowded – we are very sorry for the inconvenience this causes.
As you know, many of our trains are very old. We work hard to keep them running well and in fact our engineers have won awards for the innovation they have used to keep them running for more miles without problems, but we are sorry there have been problems recently. We publish information about which trains are shorter than normal on JourneyCheck. We’re currently looking to see how we can make it more prominent. You can sign up for automatic alerts to your inbox via www.greateranglia.co.uk/journeycheck.
West Anglia Performance
In recent weeks the West Anglia has seen a lot of incidents that have had an impact on your experience. We are reviewing these incidents weekly in a new internal programme of continuous improvement and are at present the only UK train company using this method of review and development. The West Anglia requires work and investment for our new trains to work seamlessly and we are working closer with Network Rail to make this as seamless as possible for our customers.
Connections with London Underground?
We are introducing a new system to keep our drivers up to date on service suspension on the Victoria Line from Tottenham Hale. They will be able to inform customers when arriving at the station if the service is suspended or not empowering you to make more informed decisions.
Greater Anglia has launched a new customer survey to help improve passengers’ journeys. The ‘Always Listening’ survey gives our customers the opportunity to leave feedback about everything from a specific journey, the quality of information on the website or general comments about stations and trains. Using intelligent software, the survey system can categorise the responses and even ask extra questions on areas that receive a low score. Following feedback gathered through the survey we have now made a change to the landing page on the feedback page to ensure clarity on how to enter the survey.
New Train Seating
Many of our customers asked about the interior of our new trains. Well we can say that these has been shaped by our customers early on in the design process. Our Customer Panel, individual customer feedback and design specialists have all invested time in developing our interiors to meet the needs of Greater Anglia’s customers. Out seating has been a major area of focus as we aim to provide the comfiest experience possible when traveling.
When are the trains arriving?
Our new trains are coming! From the end of this year you will start to see our trains out for testing across the Greater Anglia network. This comprehensive testing will be undertaken by every new train up until the final units arrive in 2021. Our new, longer, faster, greener trains will come fully air conditioned and will drastically improve on the customer experience of those who travel on our network.
The owners of the trains running to Southend Victoria and Southminster are currently refurbishing their fleet and as a result we will continue to roll out these improved trains in the run up to our new fleet introduction. The refurbishment will see better lighting, seating, air conditioning and heating throughout. The entire fleet will not undergo this transformation before our new trains arrive however in the interim, when a refurbished train becomes available to Greater Anglia we will introduce it onto the network.
Southend Engineering works
The project is one of the largest Network Rail projects on the route with over £46m being spent to replace 128km of overhead wires that were first installed in the 1950s. The project will see the installation of over 500 new overhead wire structures on the route between Southend Victoria and Shenfield. The programme is due to finish in December 2019 in time for our new fleet to be rolled out to the network.
When will the engineering work on the East come to an end?
Network Rail are carrying out their London Railway Upgrade Plan to improve new connections and increase capacity during peak times by 30%. This includes replacing the overhead wiring system and carrying out track renewals as well as components including ballast and sleepers on the Great Eastern main line between Chelmsford and London Liverpool Street as part of a £250m investment.
The Crossrail Project is also part of this Railway Upgrade Plan whereby building for the Elizabeth line to link Reading and Heathrow in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east has meant closure of part of the GA network.Over the last two years, Network Rail have completed the overhead wiring section between Chelmsford and Ilford. This programme is currently scheduled to complete in May 2019, subject to obtaining necessary access but track renewal work and further work for Crossrail will continue throughout 2019.
Many of you asked about late-night presence at the weekend at Broxbourne. Well we are happy to say that we will be deploying Land Sheriffs at Broxbourne in the coming weeks to ensure our customers feel safe and secure while traveling with Greater Anglia. Your safety is one of our key priorities and we are actively improving our CCTV, information, and colleague presence at Broxbourne to ensure you feel safe with us all the time.
Our latest App has been updated with feedback from our passengers around Planning & Buying tickets, Searching for Season tickets, picking your home station and recently selected stations as well as look and feel upgrades to make our App as simple and effective as possible for customers.